Polylactic acid (PLA) biopolymer is undergoing
criticism for not being compostable or recyclable by consumers. Recycling
advocates are concerned that retail PLA water bottles will most likely
contaminate recyclables, especially in states where recycling rates are high.
Natureworks says that given the small amounts of PLA
being used in packaging, contamination is not likely. A 2006 study commissioned
by the company showed recycling, not composting, as the greenest way to deal
with PLA. For everything but water pollution, it said that PLA retains
environmental advantages over conventional plastics, even if it isn’t recycled.
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