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Cascades launches compostable, corn-based plastic container

Cascades Inopak is heading towards greener pastures with a new line of compostable plastic containers made from Nat...


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November 24, 2005 by Canadian Plastics

Cascades Inopak is heading towards greener pastures with a new line of compostable plastic containers made from NatureWorks LLC’s PLA, a plastic made from corn.
Based in Kingsley, Falls, Que. Cascades Inopak, a division of Cascades Canada Inc., is the first Canadian manufacturer to produce and commercialize packaging made of PLA.
Cascades said the PLA containers are as strong and as clear as polyethylene terephthalate (PET), but are compostable, meaning they break down in under 110 days. However, PLA’s compostable properties do not compromise the initial strength of this material, the company explained.
Additionally, PLA’s degenerated industrial compost of this material does not produce any residue other than water and carbon dioxide, Cascades noted.
“PLA containers are a major innovation for the plastic industry. From now on, we are pleased to offer a greener type of plastic to our customers”, said Mario Plourde, President and Chief Operating Officer of Cascades Inc.’s Specialty Products Group, in a statement.
NatureWorks PLA is produced by harvesting the starch stored in corn and fermenting the corn’s natural plant sugars into lactic acid. Then, the lactic acid is used to create a clear plastic called polylactide (PLA) that can be shaped into a variety of bottles, containers, trays, film and other packaging, according to NatureWorks, which is based in Minnetonka, Minn.
For the past 25 years, Cascades Inopak has been involved in the rigid plastic container market. It manufactures a range of containers used in retail sales for the packaging of various food products such as candies sold in bulk, fresh salads and prepared meals.