What does PLA/PLA compostable foil laminate mean?

When some customers are trying to get compostable film materials package for their products, they may come across to PLA/PLA foil laminate which is usually presented by the suppliers, and the customers may get confused with this term, and may wonder some questions as below.

  • What does PLA/PLA mean?
  • Is it fully compostable?
  • How does it look?
  • May it be fulfilling the package needs for my products´╝č

Let’s try to work through these questions one by one, and hope we can be of help for customizing your ideal perfect packages.

PLA/PLA foil meaning

PLA, is short for polylactic acid which may usually be derived from corn starch or potato starch, which can be considered both biodegradable and compostable film materials in flexible packaging industry. However, there are two different craftsmanship to produce PLA film, which will lead to quite different property for the final film. So, to well understand the meaning of PLA/PLA compostable foil laminate, we will have to get a basic understanding on the produce craftsmanship first.

Blown film process


The above graphic shows the structure for a blown-film produce line, which also is able to output PLA film. You are advised to watch below video to check the softness and high haze for 40 microns blown PLA film produced by our film supplier.

PLA film with soft effect and high haze

Actually, this PLA film is so soft that it can not be intended for compostable standing pouch packages alone, and it will have to be laminated with another robust tough layer. In this structure, it is still made of PLA materials, however, through biaxial-orientation process, shows as below.


After orientation, the tensile strength and clarity is largely improved, which can replace PET film as outside print substrate and support layer for self-standing bag pouches. You are advised to watch the video below for an actual understanding. More often, this PLA film is called BOPLA film, short for biaxially-orientated Polylactic acid film.

BOPLA film with great tensislte strength, toughness and clarity

So, when people talk about compostable PLA/PLA foil laminate, actually, it means BOPLA/PLA foil laminate with artwork printed reversely on the inner side of BOPLA film, with detailed structure as below.


Fully compostable BOPLA/PLA

As explained above, BOPLA and PLA film are both polylactic acid, which are certificated to be fully compostable in the certain conditions. You may view the certificates by TUV or DIN from our film suppliers.

How does it look?

BOPLA/PLA foil laminate can either be processed into rolls, of course, with some haze, as below.


With the great stiffness brought by BOPLA film, BOPLA/PLA laminate is able to present good standing effect when it is converted into bottom gusseted pouch, which can be well intended for the purpose of coffee, beans, food, confectionary, snacks and dried fruits, etc However, the bad barrier performance for this foil gives limits to the shelf life and preserve for the freshness of the products.


Fulfilling Package Purpose

So, till here, you may get some understanding whether this BOPLA/PLA foil laminate is going to meet the requirements of your products package, of course, exact property should be seriously studied to make sure it is going to fit.

  • Heat Sealing Property
  • Standing Effect
  • Barrier property
  • Print Effect
  • Drop Test

Of course, we are glad to provide free samples for your further study as long as you are willing to afford the courier cost. Please reach us at office@valuepackaging.cn

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