The background is the application of PLA as the currently most important bio-based plastic on the packaging market. For this purpose, however, PLA is frequently applied as a composite material or blend. High-quality and pure recyclates are difficult to achieve with conventional recycling processes. For comparison purposes, the juxtapositioning of solvent-based and thermomechanical recycling (recompounding) is carried out as regards the recyclate quality and economic efficiency. A solution to the end-of-life management for PLA would simplify the market launch of PLA. The ecological and economically more sustainable production of plastic packaging would thereby be expedited.
The project is as sub-project an integral part of the research alliance "Sustainable Strategies for Recycling Products and Waste Materials from Biobased Plastics”. The project aim of the alliance is the establishment of a knowledge base for the integration of bio-based plastics into the German waste management industry, including the technology transfer necessary for this purpose. Further issues which are being addressed by participating Fraunhofer institutes within the framework of the alliance project include the creation of foundations for the integration of old polylactide into the synthesis process for PLA (Fraunhofer IAP) and the preparation of a sustainability assessment of the developed procedures (Fraunhofer UMSICHT).