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The difference between pla straws and plastic straws

The difference between pla straws and plastic straws

Issue Time:2021-06-23
The difference between pla straws and plastic straws

What does PLA mean? Its full English name is Poly-Lactic Acid, and its Chinese name is polylactic acid. It is a polyester polymer polymerized with lactic acid as the main raw material. It is a new type of biodegradable material. Recently, due to the full implementation of the "plastic ban", straws made from PLA are used to replace plastic straws, occupying part of the market share.


PLA straws are used to replace plastic straws. Although it has the advantages of being degradable and environmentally friendly, it is considered to be superior to another alternative-paper straws in terms of user experience, but its shortcomings cannot be ignored:



PLA straws are not heat resistant


PLA material has a low heat distortion temperature and will become soft if it exceeds 50°C. Reliable merchants on a certain treasure will kindly prompt "this straw will deform when exposed to high temperatures above 50℃", and even individual merchants will tell users how to distinguish between PLA straws and plastic straws. The identification method is simple, that is, PLA straws will soften when exposed to high temperature liquid Deformation, while plastic straws will not.


PLA straws are more suitable for warm and cold drinks, with a temperature resistance of -10°C to 50°C. Milk tea or refreshing coffee for warming hands in winter should be much higher than 50°C. PLA straws are not suitable for such products.

If the PLA straw provided by the milk tea shop can be used for all types of drinks in the store, 100% of the straw products are "added", and some are even added with non-degradable materials, so as to ensure that the PLA straw can withstand high temperatures and not soften Deformed.



There are prerequisites for the degradation of PLA


The biodegradability of PLA is not unconditional. PLA degrades quickly in a high-temperature environment with abundant microorganisms. If PLA is buried deep in the soil, there will be signs of degradation within 6 months until it returns to nature.


It takes longer to achieve degradation at room temperature. This is still for products with 100% PLA raw materials. If other chemical substances are added to PLA in order to improve its temperature resistance and other characteristics, it is often more difficult to degrade, and some of the additives are even non-degradable materials, which is very different from the original intention of environmental protection.