Reduce / Reuse / Recycle

May 5, 2005


Unitika Ltd. Develops World's First High Temperature-Resistant Polylactic Acid

Keywords: Eco-business / Social Venture Ecosystems / Biodiversity Environmental Technology Manufacturing industry Reduce / Reuse / Recycle 

Polylactic acid resin is a type of biodegradable plastic derived from biomass resources. According to a report released on January 26, 2005 by Unitika Limited, a major Japanese manufacturer of polymers and advanced fiber materials, a polylactic acid resin has been developed that is resistant to high temperatures and can take the form of a foam suitable for extrusion foam molding.

This technology can produce 100 percent plant-based plastic products that contain no petroleum, are completely biodegradable and can be composted after use.

Disposing of plastic wastes has become a serious issue, and polylactic acid plastics derived from renewable plant resources have attracted attention as a partial alternative to petroleum-based plastics. However, existing polylactic acid plastic has limited applicability because of its low temperature resistance of only 60 degrees Celsius.

In developing this technology, Unitika made maximal use of nanocomposite and other technologies to raise the heat resistance of the material up to 120 degrees Celsius, making it microwave-safe and hot water resistant.

It is hoped that this biodegradable plastic will be used in a wide array of molded foam products that require rigidity and high temperature resistance such as boxed meal containers, containers for instant noodles, food trays, building materials and heat insulation and cushioning for automobiles.

- Unitika Develops High Heat-Resistant Biodegradable Container (Related JFS article)

Posted: 2005/05/05 09:48:49 PM
Japanese version