A move towards “bio-based plastics” has inspired a push to develop bio-foams as a replacement for petroleum-based polymers. One of the most promising biologically-derived alternatives is polylactic acid (PLA) which can be used for a range of commodity plastics. Biopolymer Network has a patent for a new method of producing E-PLA bio-foams from commercially available PLA beads using a novel CO2 foaming technology. This technology can be used to produce both foamed beads and moulded shapes and products such as insulation, packaging and speciality components. This technology has been used to produce moulded E-PLA product on standard commercial polystyrene moulding equipment and tests on these products have shown similar performance to polystyrene for both impact resistance and insulation.


The environmentally friendly bio-foam won “Best Innovation in Bioplastics” category at the International Bioplastics Awards in 2008. The novel E-PLA foam was selected for its green credentials and key performance attributes at low densities. The foam is both sustainably sourced and can be disposed of through industrial composting.

Process from PLA Resin to Finished Product

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