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PLA vs. Wood Cellulose

Clear bioplastic bag with crisps in it

Our range of Clear Compostable Bioplastic Bags come in a choice of two raw materials: PLA and wood cellulose. PLA is made from corn starch, and wood cellulose is made from – you guessed it – wood fibre.

PLA and wood cellulose are both completely plant-based and renewable, but they have differences in terms of functionality and texture. Clients can choose which suits them best, depending on their needs.

A primary difference between the two materials is that PLA is much more moisture resistant than wood cellulose. This makes PLA the right choice for moist foods, like salad packs and berries. Wood cellulose will absorb moisture over time if it’s in contact with it. It’s better suited to dry goods, like grains, beans and nuts.

One of the biggest identifiers is the sound each bag makes. PLA is quite noisy and crinkly. Wood Cellulose is softer and won’t make that crinkly sound. Also, when you fold PLA film over, and squeeze it between your fingers, it leaves a white fold crease in the film called a dead fold. With lots of handling PLA can become brittle and these dead folds may start to crack at the edges. We don’t recommend PLA film for retail products that will include a lot of direct handling. If a great deal of direct handling is required, we’d recommend rather using wood cellulose or putting the PLA inside a box, with a window if needed. 

You can compare more characteristics in the table below. Also, feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to advise you further.

Screenshot 2020 10 20 at 15.27.35
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