The United Kingdom has been making changes to its economy just as the world is making its changes to create a sustainable and clean environment for us humans to live in and also to combat the Climate Emergency that we face.
The nation is set to see a rise in bioplastics over the next five years a market analysis suggested. Polylactic acid or polylactide (PLA) is a thermoplastic aliphatic polyester derived from renewable resources and is popular in green chemistry. In 2010, PLA had the second highest consumption volume of any bioplastic of the world, although it is still not a commodity polymer. Its widespread application has been hindered by numerous physical and processing shortcomings PLA is used as a feedstock material in desktop fused filament fabrication 3D printers (e.g. RepRap). PLA printed solids can be encased in plaster-like molding materials and used as a substitute to plastic, then burned out in a furnace, so that the resulting void can be filled with molten metal. This process is labelled as “lost PLA casting”, a type of investment casting. PLA can be used for almost anything from cups to tea bags to 3D printing.
As PLA is a degradable compound the nation might need it as they are making a shift towards green chemicals and promoting the use of bioplastics. The nation can benefit a lot with the use of extruded PLA and hence now there is a rise in popularity for this biodegradable plastic option. It will be interesting to see how the manufacturers and the end-users approach to the new trend of bioplastics that the industries are being forced to abide by.