NatureWorks: PLA can beat PET on costs

NatureWorks is claiming its corn-based polymer now offers a cost saving for some applications that currently use PET. Speaking at a presentation in Brussels last Thursday, chief executive Kathleen Bader said a recent 68% cut in production costs for the company’s polylactide acid (PLA polymer – and “with some help from the oil industry prices” – the material “has been competitive with PET for several months now and it will become competitive with polystyrene within several years”.
Chief marketing officer Dennis McGrew said: “Polystyrene prices are very volatile, so we are already competitive with PS in many regions today.” Belgian retailer Delhaize started to use NatureWorks PLA for fresh salad boxes around two months ago and is evaluating the material for bread and fruit and vegetable packaging. Delhaize communication specialist Katrien Verbeke said: “PLA costs a little bit more than before, but there is no difference in price for our customers. It is our commitment to pay for it.”

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