- Are Leetha Bio-Cups made using PLA? No Leetha Bio-Cups are made using water based acrylic emulsion.
- Are Leetha bio-cups Recyclable? Yes Leetha Bio Cups are 100% recyclable, it can be directly fed into a pulper and can be used to make recycled paper.
- Can ordinary LDPE coated paper cups also be recycled? Specialized machinery are required to separate LDPE film from cup paper unfortunately there very few of these in the world and almost 90% of used paper cups end up in land fill and are not recycled and that means LDPE cups cannot be recycled by most paper mills.
- Are Leetha cups bio degradable? Yes, Leetha cups are bio degradable, As per ASTM D 5511 Standard test conducted on the cups by Intertek. It states that for the test to be considered valid , the positive control (Reference material) must achieve 70% biodegradation with in 30 days. Reference material (Cellulose)showed 74.8% biodegradation on 28th day and 94.01% on 52nd day. ASTM D 5511 are conducted to test bio degradation in natural weather conditions. Certificates and Test study are available and could be sent on request.
- So does that mean you throw leetha bio cup in your back yard and degrades naturally? Yes.
- Are Leetha Bio cups food safe and are there any certificates to prove the same? Yes Leetha bio cups are food safe and migration test conducted by internationally accreditation agencies certifies the same.
- Are leetha Bio cups microwavable and are there any certificates to prove the same? Yes Leetha bio cups are microwavable safe and migration test conducted by internationally accreditation agencies certifies the same.
- Till what temperatures can Leetha bio cups withstand and what temperatures can PLA coated cups withstand? It can withstand upto 100 degree centigrade PLA starts to melt at around 65 degrees (coffee is generally served at 70 degrees)
- Does so called 100% compostable PLA coated cup also degrade naturally? PLA is a polymer made from high levels of polylactic acid molecules. For PLA to biodegrade, you must break up the polymer by adding water to it (a process known as hydrolyzing). Heat and moisture are required for hydrolyzing to occur. So if you throw that PLA cup in the trash, where it will not be exposed to the heat and moisture required to trigger biodegradation, it will sit there for decades or centuries, much like an ordinary plastic cup.
- So why is PLA coated cup termed as compostable even when that is not compostable in natural weather conditions? PLA coated cup is compostable in an industrial hot composter and will not bio degrade in natural weather conditions. PLA as naturally compostable is a misnomer.
- What is an industrial hot composter and what happens to PLA coated cups in there? Industrial hot composter is an industrial bio-degrading facility where heat and moisture is provided, when required heat at around 60 degrees and required moisture is provided, biodegradability is triggered, then there-after PLA coated cups and lids would degrade and be eaten up by microbes.
- So do we have enough industrial compostable facility in the world? There hardly any in countries like India and china and UK has just few and that does not even satisfy 5% of the total requirement.
- Are Industrial composting facilities really a solution to the plastic menace? The amount of energy required to run the industrial composting facility and the amount of foot print generated during bio-degrading process in an industrial composter is actually more than the energy required to manufacture paper and that means running an industrial composer is harmful to nature and natural biodegradation is the ideal solution.
What are the other practical difficulty in PLA cups and lids and how does Leetha Bio-cups stand up as a solution?
Collection of sorting of waste is a practical problem , used PLA cups has to be separately
collected in order to be taken to an industrial composting site. If it goes to the land fill it will sit
there just as any other PE coated paper cup that means “PLA WASTE “marked trash cans has
to be kept at public locations along with other trash cans.
Public need to be educated on PLA and so that they put PLA cups and lids in “PLA” marked trash cans.
Since Leetha Bio cups are naturally biodegradable no separate trash cans are necessary and public can go one with their natural way of life.
- Does PLA cups and lids emit harmful gases when burned? YES PLA trash if burned emit toxic gases known as VOC’s (volatile Organic Carbon).
- Are PLA coated cups microwave safe? No PLA coated cups are not microwave safe.