PLA materials are a special type of thermoplastic made from plants such as sugarcane or corn starch. PLA materials were originally invented by Wallace Carothers in 1920 as he was attempting to create an environmentally friendly plastic for chemical manufacturer, DuPont. The production costs of this plastic proved to be very high and it was therefore suspended. Several decades later, Patrick Gruber and his wife Sally were successful in producing PLA materials from corn in their home oven. This significantly reduced the production costs of PLA materials.
Currently, PLA materials are the lowest-cost bio-plastic to manufacture, widely used for producing disposable food packaging, plastic films, bottles, and biodegradable medical devices. Crystalline PLA materials are a type of polylactic acid material with excellent heat resistance. It is used to produce disposable cutlery and PLA materials made from biological polymers are used for plates, glasses, bowls, and many other party supplies. PLA materials are made from renewable plants such as corn, sugarcane bagasse, and beets.
PLA materials have properties very similar to traditional plastics but have the key advantage of being 100% compostable in commercial composting facilities. We use PLA materials because they are versatile, compostable, and most importantly, not petroleum-based. All of our products, even our compostable cutlery, are made from PLA materials. PLA materials in our cutlery formula make them strong and durable-- perfect for high-stress demand and of course, for commercial composting! Using PLA materials improves environmental footprint: reduces greenhouse gases, requires less fossil fuel, and provides more post-consumer and commercial waste disposal options.
Most plastics come from oil or petroleum. In many ways, oil is our most valuable resource. It is also a resource with many negative environmental and social impacts. Our products made from PLA allow you to choose products made from renewable resources such as plants rather than petroleum. Unlike non-renewable oil, plants can be grown over and over again. PLA materials plastics also have the additional benefit of being compostable after you use them. Composting is an opportunity to divert waste that would normally be sent to a landfill--through composting, you can create valuable nutrients in the soil for plants to grow again.