Legislation Related to PLA
Many industrial sectors have been subjected in recent years to an important evolution by making great efforts in developing degradable biological materials without significant environmental pollution to replace petrochemical-based traditional plastics. Among the numerous bio-based and biodegradable polymers, poly(lactic acid) (PLA) is currently the most promising and popular material with the brightest development prospect and it is considered the “green” eco-friendly material. In particular in the food packaging sector it has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use as a food contact material. This chapter will provide information on the regulations, directives and standards related to biodegradable food contact materials, biodegradability and compostability, nanotechnology and those applied to the study of their environmental impact by the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). We will focus on the food packaging area, since it is where most of the PLA uses are better regulated, but the information could be applied to other industrial sectors.