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Taiwan promotes new green, healthy plastic

February 7, 2014

Taiwan promotes new green, healthy plastic

A special polylactic acid (PLA) resistant to temperatures of more than 100 C has been developed by Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), with possible applications including food and drink containers that promise to contribute greatly to food safety and the environment.

According to the government-funded R&D body in Hsinchu County, researchers spent eight years perfecting the use of non-toxic nucleating agents in producing the special PLA to create molded plastic that is heat and deformation-resistant, non-toxic and rapid-setting. PLA can be manufactured from a variety of biological sources, such as corn starch. The modified PLA also readily decomposes into carbon dioxide and water in soil, making it environmentally friendly.

Manufacturers are already cooperating with ITRI in commercialization of the new technology to create safe, heat-resistant utensils for children. Other applications, such as high-density electronic devices, transparent plastic bags, as well as coatings for paper cups and wooden lunchboxes, are also in the pipeline.

Read more at Eco-Business.

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