20 May 2011 16:30 [Source: ICIS news]
GUANGZHOU (ICIS)--High prices for conventional polymers have made polylactic acid (PLA) a more attractive alternative in North America, a senior executive of NatureWorks said on Friday.
PLA is a bioplastic made from renewable resources such as corn and cassava.
But a shrinking price gap between PLA and conventional polymers gives plastics end-users more incentives to use PLA as an alternative, NatureWorks marketing director Steve Davies said.
Davies was speaking on the sidelines of the four-day ChinaPlas exhibition in Guangzhou, China, which runs through 20 May.
The PLA marketed under NatureWorks’ Ingeo brand name is currently priced at $0.90-1.00/lb delivered in bulk in the US, close to the prices of conventional polymers such as PP and PS in that market, said Davies.
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A growing awareness among plastics end-users to reduce their carbon footprint was also driving the demand for PLA, Davies said.
PLA production at NatureWorks’ 140,000 tonnes/year plant in Blair, Nebraska, releases 60% less greenhouse gases and uses 50% less non-renewable energy than traditional plastics like PS and polyethylene terephthalate (PET), he added.
NatureWorks is owned by Cargill.
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