PLA is primarily derived from renewable resources (usually corn), while PBAT is derived from fossil fuels. While PLA is strong, it’s brittle and rigid. When PBAT is added to create PLA/PBAT, the combined materials are flexible and strong.
Adding PBAT to PLA also speeds up degradation time and lowers the required temperature which can make home composting certifications available.
Read the common FAQs on compostable plastic here.
Not completely plastic-free (contains petroleum-based additive PBAT for flexibility)
Many consumers do not have access to industrial composting.
Some composting facilities will not accept compostable plastics, because they can slow down their composting cycles.
It cannot be recycled, but because it looks and feels like traditional plastic, it often ends up recycled with plastic. This contaminates and slows down the recycling stream.
Requires adequate messaging for proper disposal. If compostable plastics end up in landfills, they will take much longer to degrade (can be decades) without the right amount of heat, moisture, and oxygen to attract the microbes necessary for degradation.