Influence of plasticizers on the compostability of polylactic acid

Marina P. Arrieta


Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) has gained considerable attention as an interesting biobased and biodegradable polymer for film for food packaging applications, due to its many advantages such as biobased nature, high transparency and inherent biodegradable/compostable character. With the dual objective to improve PLA processing performance and to obtain flexible materials, plasticizer are use as strategy for extending PLA applications as compostable film for food packaging applications. Several plasticizers (i.e.: citrate esters, polyethylene glycol (PEG), oligomeric lactic acid (OLA), etc.) as well as essential oils and maleinized and/or epoxidized seed oils are widely used for flexible PLA film production. This article reviews the most relevant compostable PLA-plasticized flexible film formulations with an emphasis on plasticizer effect on the compostability rate of PLA polymeric matrix with the aim to get information of the possibility to use plasticized PLAbased formulatios as compostable films for sustainable industrial packaging production.


biobased polymers; biodegradable polymers; polylactic acid; plasticizers; compostability

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