The industry's first shrink labels made of biodegradable polylactic acid (PLA) film have been introduced by Gilbreth Packaging, Croydon, Pa. PLA shrink sleeves and tamper-evident bands for containers and tubes are said to be viable alternatives to labels based on traditional PVC, PETG, and OPS. Gilbreth launched the product in response to demands for "sustainable" and "environmentally friendly" packaging from "big box" retailers like Wal-Mart. The base film is extruded by Plastic Suppliers, Inc., Columbus, Ohio, from PLA resin from NatureWorks LLC, Minnetonka, Minn. PLA film reduces energy cost because it reportedly shrinks at a lower temperature (about 130 C) than all other shrink films. It costs slightly more than PVC but less than PETG. PLA film is compatible with a range of labeling machines and is aimed at a range of shrink film applications including juice, food, and alcohol containers.
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