PLA (Polylactic acid / polylactide) is a type of bioplastic, which is plastic made from plant / biological material instead of oil. PLA is the most popular 3D printing filament material – as exemplified in a recent survey which shows that more than 95% of 3D printing users use PLA.

This resource produced by Filamentive and kindly shared with CREATE Education, explores the credibility of each of the four key environmental benefit claims surrounding PLA 3D printing filament, commonly put forward by industry and marketers alike.

  1. Is PLA sustainable?
  2. Is PLA biodegradable?
  3. Is PLA compostable?
  4. Is PLA recyclable?

In The Classroom

This resource provides useful information about the sustainability of PLA filament and can be used both as a Professional Development Resource or by students to learn more about this important environmental aspect of 3D printing and additive manufacturing technologies. The resource contains references and a number of links to further sources allowing you to delve deeper into this topic. This resource is perfect for students researching different materials.

For schools and education organisations looking to make more environmentally conscious purchasing decisions, CREATE Education highly recommend Filamentive Recycled PLA (rPLA) Filament, which is also produced on cardboard spools to further cut plastic waste.