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A peer-reviewed Life Cycle Impact Assessment of PLA (polylactic acid) has been published that confirms the low carbon footprint of Total Corbion’s PLA at commercial scale.
Published in the Journal of Polymers and the Environment,the article provides up-to-date cradle-to-gate information on the environmental footprint of PLA produced in Thailand at commercial scale. All relevant environmental aspects of PLA production are analysed in detail, covering carbon footprint as well emerging topics such as water footprint and direct land use change. The potential to further reduce the environmental impacts of PLA is also demonstrated.
“From a cradle-to-gate perspective the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of PLA is confirmed to be only 500g of carbon dioxide per kilogram of PLA,” says François de Bie, senior marketing director at Total Corbion PLA. “This isroughly a 75 per cent reduction in carbon footprint versus most traditional plastics.”
He added: “It is likely that in ten years from now the cradle-to-gate GWP for PLA will have been reduced from plus 500 to minus 900g per kilogram of PLA.”
Fresh water usage is another important environmental impact category that was included in the study. “The sugarcane plantations where we source biomass needed for the PLA production have very limited irrigation and are located in areas of low to medium water stress,” explained Ana Morão, principal scientist for sustainability at Corbion.
Source：plastics in packaging