PLA has improved markedly since it was first invented. Because it’s made from plant-based material rather than plastic, people are sometimes unsure whether PLA is as strong and heat-resistant as PE. The answer is yes, it is – PLA is capable of handling everything that PE can handle. At the moment, the demand for PE is still greater than PLA, but we believe that’s because people aren’t fully aware of the benefits of PLA yet.
PLA-lined cups can go straight into the composting bin, whereas other paper cups have to go through a separate recycling process. Then there’s the fact that PLA comes from renewable resources, which reduces landfill. We all know how important that is these days. Another big one is that PLA can be manufactured using the same equipment used for making other plastics, so it’s just as cost-efficient to produce.
We’ve found that once people understand how good PLA is, they’re pretty much sold on it. One of our customers, Beeplus, chose to use our PLA-lined cups for one of their events. They needed cups that could go straight into the composting bin, which is exactly what PLA cups do. We had some great feedback from that one. We’re also seeing lots of smaller café owners shifting to PLA cups, which is fantastic. These guys have seen the advantages in using 100% biodegradable cups and many of them use it as a marketing tool. The idea that your takeaway coffee is in a fully-compostable and biodegrable cup is a bit of a selling point!