PLA-lined fiber-based cups that are industrial compostable have been available commercially for a long time. In contrast to PE-lined fiber-based cups, the PLA liner is fully compatible with the paper recycling process. In recent years, there is more and more interest to have solutions available that not only biodegrade under industrial composting conditions, but also under home composting conditions.
Our idea is to develop a PLA-lined fiber-based cup that is meeting the home compostability requirements and that is fully compatible with the paper recycling process. This would provide an additional end-of-life option (home composting) next to the incumbent recovery option of paper cup recycling. The idea is focused on the cup itself, but can be extended to develop a home compostable lid and straw so that the full cup is home compostable. In case an identical solution is used for the lid and the straw, these could even be included in the paper recycling process.
PLA is produced from renewable raw materials and is 100% biobased. Our PLA is produced from sugar from Thai sugarcane. Sustainable sourcing of raw materials is at the core of our business. Our vision and approach can be found in the whitepaper on sustainable sourcing of feedstocks for bioplastics (https://www.total-corbion.com/media/1082/170822_totalcorbionpla_whitepaper_12-web.pdf).
PLA is a polymer that is approved for food contact applications throughout the world. We as Total Corbion PLA have all the required certifications and documentation that demonstrate compliance with the most important regulations, including food contact, REACH, chemical compliance and dangerous chemicals listings.