Why XKKO ECO?
What is PLA bioplastic?
The PLA biopolymer, which we use in production, is made in the USA from waste genetically unmodified maize. So we import an environmentally friendly material that is produced from renewable sources and is not dependent on the production of oil or its impurities.
PLA is globally recognized and certified for use in the food industry, and its health safety is thus 100% guaranteed. For the customers, this means the end of fear of dangerous plastic toys and baby dishes, which may contain harmful phthalates, dioxins and other substances that endanger the health of children. Thanks to state-of-the-art scientific knowledge, there may also be a plastic without any health risks - while being perfectly sophisticated, environmentally friendly, and biodegradable.
The PLA material looks, at first sight and touch, just like commonly used petroleum-based plastics, even with the same properties: elasticity, hardness, transparency, flexibility and durability. However, it differs from conventional plastics by the specific processing and the manufacturing process.
Unlike conventional plastics, PLA bioplastic products are also tasteless and odourless. They do not contain any allergens at all. They are therefore also suitable for more sensitive children and babies with health problems.
All PLA bioplastic products are biodegradable. They can be naturally degraded, composted and converted into high-quality biomass or humus. Hence, they do not represent any ecological burden and are a good sign for the generations of our children.
How is PLA bioplastic produced?
The basic raw material for this material is plant biomass (e.g. maize, cereals, potatoes, sugar beet, sugar cane, soya beans, tobacco) and natural raw materials, such as cellulose and lignite. The bioplastic is made from starches of these plants. In order to transform the starch into a substance with the properties corresponding to petroleum plastics, it is necessary to expose it to high temperatures and to obtain glucose by isolating it. Lactic acid and later polylactic acid (thence the name "PLA") are obtained from glucose by fermentation.
A packaging material of any kind can be then produced from PLA plastic. For the manufacture of this material, the same devices as are used for the production of conventional plastics can be used, with the difference that the production of bioplastics is up to 65% less energy intensive and does not use crude oil or additional chemical mixtures, softeners or other synthetic agents causing hyperactivity, allergies and increase of oestrogen in the body. PLA plastics are much more environmentally friendly compared to conventional plastics.
What are PLAs used for? What are their disadvantages?
They are often used where it is necessary to use a plastic with a shortened lifespan. And especially where higher demands on quality and health are required - in hospitals, but also in households and in kitchens where plastic comes into contact with food.
Nowadays almost everything can be made of these materials: plates, cutlery, cups, bags, food boxes, cutting boards, trays, platters and other items of daily use.
They are finally used in fast food, restaurants, festivals, or at home picnics and barbecues in the gardens.
The mass expansion of bioplastics has been hindered by their high price so far. At present, they are still more expensive than synthetic materials made from crude oil. Tighter regulation within individual countries as well as across the entire EU encouraging the use of environmentally friendly plastics and technological development, however, may soon reverse this situation.
Bioplastic expansion is also logically linked to the fact that oil consumption is excessive, its price gradually rises and its reserves are globally shrinking. This also contributes to the faster development of bioplastic technologies, their increasing production and the gradual reduction of their prices.
How are bioplastics decomposed or composted?
Their advantage is primarily biological degradability and compostability. These ecological materials decompose best under the action of soil bacteria, higher temperatures, large air volume and higher ambient humidity.
Thus, they are predestined to be composted in large industrial composting plants where they are transformed into high quality biomass and humus, which can be further used as a substitute for industrial fertilizers. But they can also be composted in your garden, and, after all, even used as a fertilizer in flowerpots. The decomposition time depends on the conditions and the thickness of the product wall. Tests and checks have shown 100% degradability in industrial composting plants - in the order of weeks.
They are also decomposed in landfills, after being covered with soil, but it takes a considerably longer time.
Bioplastics are not recyclable but compostable!