Advance BIO on: What’s the difference between EDP and PLA plastics?
Have you ever wondered if the bioplastics and the eco-friendly types of plastic are actually good? Let’s get to know the PLA and biodegradable EDP plastics
Let’s start with the PLA or Polylactic Acid. It is made from sugar cane, corn, cassava, or other natural plants. The process starts off by grinding the plant into powder, then digesting the starch into sugar, fermented with microorganisms until we have Lactic acid.
This is a similar process for making beer. We turn Lactic Acid into Lactide using chemical reactions. Then we create a string of Lactide and we get ourselves the PLA. We control how long to what shape of the PLA we want. We can use PLA to produce plastics items, the same goes for petroleum plastic.
Even though PLA has some good benefits such as made from plants and being degradable, it also has some disadvantages. PLA is more fragile and has limited uses. If PLA is used as a film for flexible packaging, it needs to be mixed with plasticisers or other kinds of polymer to add more elasticity.
PLA is not very resilient to heat. The heating process before shaping up the plastic could damage the substance. PLA in the polymer form is very fragile and making it into a film is difficult and stable. Despite PLA being considered eco-friendly, it does take a while to decompose. People misunderstand that plastic that comes from plants should degrade naturally, which isn’t the case with PLA. It requires a fermentation process in a fertilizer plant to turn it into fertilizer. Humidity, heat, and oxygen are carefully controlled for PLA to break down, otherwise, it won’t turn into fertilizer.
EDP (Environmentally Degradable Plastic) is a type of plastic that can naturally degrade. The composition is designed to degrade when exposed to the environment such as acid, water, air, sunlight and enzymes from microorganisms, all of this causes changes in the chemical structure of the plastic that can be consumed by microorganisms and digested into biomass with byproducts such as carbon dioxide and water.
To change the chemical structure of the plastic. A leavening agent is used to make normal plastic degradable. The process takes place when shaping up the polymer. This technique is very popular in Asia and the Middle East. EDP is sometimes dubbed as the “Eco plastic”. It can naturally degrade within just 5 years.
This is the difference between PLA and degradable EDP from Advance BIO. Our plastic is made from special material with new structures, allowing it to naturally degrade when exposed to natural environments such as UV, heat, humidity, wind, or water. The microorganisms will consume the degraded plastic and turn it into biomass. At Advance BIO, we produce truly biodegradable plastic.