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Frequently Asked Questions

About PLA Corn Plastic

What are corn plastics?
Corn plastics are plastics made from PLA (polylactide).  PLA is made from corn.  Corn plastic products look and feel just like regular plastic, but they are 100% biodegradable and compostable.  Corn is a renewable resource which makes corn plastics much more sustainable than regular plastic.  Did you know that regular plastic is made from petroleum?

What is PLA?
PLA stands for Polylactide, and is a versatile polymer produced by NatureWorks LLC.  PLA is made from lactic acid.  Lactic acid is made from dextrose by fermentation.  Dextrose is made from cornstarch and cornstarch is made from carbon dioxide and water.  PLA can be formed into several different products like you see on our website.
What is the heat tolerance of PLA?
Normal heat tolerance of PLA is 110 degrees (F).  Remember to keep these products out of direct sunlight and in a cool, dry place.  Corn cutlery has a heat tolerance of 140 degrees, but all other corn plastic food containers and cups can only withstand temperatures of 110 degrees.  EcoSushiTrays.com guarantees that all products shipped out of the temperature controlled warehouse are in good condition prior to shipping or after a customer receives them.  Please call 646-400-2540 if you have any questions about our PLA heat disclaimer policy. 
How long does PLA take to biodegrade or compost?
PLA is fully compostable and biodegradable.  In commercial composting conditions, PLA will compost in approximately 30-45 days.  Composting may take longer in a home composting bin.
If I throw PLA in the trash, will it biodegrade in a landfill?
Most landfills are not designed to allow biodegrading of their contents.  With that being said, PLA will react in landfills like other organic waste such as food.  PLA is fully compostable in a composting facility.  In addition, PLA is made from a renewable resource-corn-instead of regular plastic that is made from oil.
Is PLSA more or less expensive than regular plastic?
PLA is now becoming competitively priced with PET plastic.  For some products, such as cold cups, PLA is less expensive than PET.  For other products, PLA is the same or slightly more.  Since PLA is made from U.S.-grown corn, you can be confident that your money is going back in the U.S. economy rather than to overseas oil companies.

What products are made out of PLA?
Products include cups, cutlery, food containers, trash bags and more.  Everyday new products are being produced and soon enough every plastic product will have a PLA counterpart.
Does PLA contain Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)?
The PLA resin does not contain any GMO.  All genetically modified organisms are eliminated during the production process of the PLA resin.  Unfortunately, PLA is not produced from GMO-free corn.  NatureWorks LLC, the manufacturer of the PLA resin is continuing to explore the possibility of making PLA from GMO free-corn.
Is PLA made from GMO free organic corn?
Unfortunately, PLA is not produced from GMO-free corn.  NatureWorks LLC, the manufacturer of the resin is continuing to explore the possibility of making PLA from GMO-free corn.  The resin PLA does not contain any GMO.  All genetically modified organisms are eliminated during the production process of the resin.
 
About Sugarcane Bagasse
What is bagasse?
Bagasse is made from sugarcane.  Rather than throwing away or burning used sugarcane stalks, the pulp is made into a paper-like substance called bagasse.  Bagasse can be molded into different shapes and products that are perfect for food service.
What is the heat tolerance of bagasse?
Bagasse is fully heat tolerant like paper.  Bagasse can even be put in the microwave.  As with paper, extremely hot food might cause bagasse to lose some of its strength, but bagasse is one of the only biodegradable food service products in the world that can handle hot temperatures.
Can bagasse handle liquids and grease?
Bagasse will hold up to liquids and grease.  It is fully grease absorbent.