PLA, a polymer that’s growing in popularity, is often marketed to brand owners for its biodegradability in commercial composting systems. Now, a plastics technology company has developed a chemical process for recycling the polymer.
Orangeburg, S.C.-headquartered Zeus Industrial Products announced it has developed a chemical recycling process to depolymerize PLA so the monomers can be reused in new plastic. Its process can be used to separate PLA from PET in mixed-polyester streams.
Polylactic acid (PLA), a polyester made from plant starch (often corn), was one of the first commercially produced bio-derived plastics. It’s made by a number of companies. NatureWorks, for example, sells PLA under its Ingeo brand, marketing the plastic as compostable.