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Sorting of PLA in mixed plastic recycling is NOW possible

Updated: Dec 5, 2022

Problem solved, this advancement in technology blows away previous objections citing that PLA contaminates the waste stream.

Watch the video below from #TotalEnergies and Tomra showing how easily it is to sort PLA from oil based plastics using Near Infra Red Technology (NIR), proving that PLA will not contaminate other recycling streams.

By collecting used PLA products from closed-loop systems and pre-consumer waste TotalEnergies Corbion is aiming to use it as feedstock to create rPLA, this will then reduce landfill waste and incineration and therefore lowering carbon emissions and reducing the need for biomass and land use.

“Plastic waste collectors and sorters know that using the infrared technology, PLA plastic products can easily be sorted from other municipal waste”Jurgen Priesters, SVP TOMRA Feedstock

The results have proven to be promising and Total Energies Corbion believes there is no technical barrier that now exists that prevents effective separation of PLA from other plastic waste. The partnership between LG Chem and ADM hopes to result in enough pure lactic acid to produce PLA on a commercial scale.

“Claims that PLA contaminates PET recycle streams have again proven to be nonsense. Many other studies, as cited in our white paper about end of life options for PLA, have confirmed exactly the same." François de Bie, Senior Marketing and Supply Chain Director at TotalEnergies Corbion

Learn more about PLA recycling at:

Want to know more on how to switch from oil based plastic to Floreon?

At Floreon, we are transforming the production of plastics by providing alternative sustainable solutions to oil-based plastics to help combat the ever-growing climate crisis. Floreon is redefining PLA for the future of our planet, to arrange a conversation, complete our contact form.


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