All about PLA - compostable bioplastic made from plant starch

All about PLA - compostable bioplastic made from plant starch

At HellaHoney our packaging is produced using various plant-based materials such as paper, wood pulp and plant starches. The key distinction is that we steer clear of conventional plastics.

To ensure that our greeting cards transport well we utilize compostable bioplastics. These materials are derived from plants and can be composted!

What is PLA?

Polylactic acid, commonly known as PLA, is a biodegradable bioplastic derived from plant sugars. It can be created from a variety of sugars, including corn starch, cassava, sugar cane, and sugar beet. At present, industrial corn is the primary source of feedstock, but our manufacturer is working diligently to expand its options.

How PLA is made

To create PLA, corn plants are milled to extract starch in the form of glucose. The glucose is then fermented, resulting in the production of lactic acid. This lactic acid is transformed into a polymer via a chemical process and made into pellets, also known as resin in the industry.

Similar to conventional plastic resin, PLA pellets can be utilized in numerous ways, including being extruded into a sheet or film, injection-molded, cast into sheets, or spun into fibers. Although PLA has a broad range of applications, at HellaHoney, we primarily employ it for our packaging sleeves.

PLA – which waste stream?

Our packaging sleeves can biodegrade in under 12 weeks in commercial composting, which provides the perfect balance of microbes, moisture and warmth.

Where there is no access to industrial composting, the PLA sleeves should be put in general waste. Since it is made from plants, not plastic, using lower carbon, renewable or recycled materials, and these sustainability benefits still apply no matter what happens to them after use.

  • It should NOT be placed in standard recycling bins which collect paper and plastics as those materials go to a different type of sorting facility.
  • General waste goes to either incineration or landfill.
  • In landfill, studies have shown that compostable packaging does not give off methane.
  • Please do not litter – compostable packaging is not expected to break down when discarded in the environment, and is not a solution to marine pollution.
  • Home composting conditions vary with the skill of the householder, so we don’t make any claims there, but there have been successful trials using hot compost bins.


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