Danone converting some yogurt packaging to PLA

Posted on July 20, 2014 by DrRossH in Plastic Waste News

Danone converting some yogurt packaging to PLA – News – Plastics News#email_sustain.

Global food giant Groupe Danone has converted about 5 percent of its yogurt packaging to bio-based polylactic acid and is evaluating other opportunities to expand its use of the material.

One cold read this and think this is a good direction to move in.  This is probably what Danone would want readers to think.  But in reality PLA offers no green solutions for the consumer.  Just because the plastic is made from a plant based material doesn’t mean it will be any better n the disposal side.  PLA is not biodegradable in landfills.  Only in commercial compost facilities  which consumers are highly unlikely to ever send their plastic waste too.  Reading further down the article a glimpse of the reason for the change to PLA become apparent.

Four years ago, the only driver was that it would be a marketing angle for consumers interested in buying a “green” product, he said. Today, PLA also is starting to offer a more competitive financial prospect.

On a price per pound basis, PS is still cheaper, but because PLA packaging can be produced with a thinner wall and takes less space in shipping, it can be the same in a price per piece, Forowycz said.

Danone also sees the potential for PLA to offer greater price stability in the long run than a material based on petroleum.

Once again it is the cost saving to the manufacturer that drives these issues and nothing to do with protecting the planet from the plastic waste their products make.  Remember this is the company that makes 5 million plastic bottles a day!