What is PLA? What makes it different

Polylactic acid, also known as PLA, is a thermoplastic monomer derived from renewable, organic sources such as corn starch or sugar cane. Using biomass resources makes PLA production different from most plastics, which are produced using fossil fuels through the distillation and polymerization of petroleum.

Despite the raw material differences, PLA can be produced using the same equipment as petrochemical plastics, making PLA manufacturing processes relatively cost efficient. PLA is the second most produced bioplastic (after thermoplastic starch) and has similar characteristics to polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE), or polystyrene (PS), as well as being biodegradeable.