Here is a new biodegradable plasticizer that is capable of providing PLA to be used in film and other flexible packaging. It has been developed by a project — Development of Inherently Biodegradable Packaging Materials project — part-funded by the UK government.
The project has successfully modified the flexibility of normally rigid PLA increasing the amount of stretch it is capable of before it snaps from 5% to 320%.
Dr Allan Amass of Aston University said,
The important thing about these plasticizers is that they should be biodegradable because they may account for between 10-20% of the additives in the product. We have also made significant progress in terms of the nature of the catalyst systems needed to blend them with the product and how we can control the molecular structure of these additives.