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Biodegradable PLA Shrink Film Buying Guide: Tips and FAQs

Jun. 24, 2024

Biodegradable PLA (polylactic acid) shrink film is an eco-friendly alternative to traditional plastic shrink wraps. Made from renewable resources like corn starch or sugarcane, PLA shrink film is designed to reduce environmental impact. This guide will help you understand the benefits, considerations, and common questions related to purchasing PLA shrink film.

Understanding PLA Shrink Film

PLA shrink film is a type of biodegradable plastic that shrinks tightly over products when heat is applied. It is used for packaging and labeling a variety of items, offering protection and a professional appearance while being more environmentally friendly than conventional plastic films.

Benefits of PLA Shrink Film

There are several advantages to choosing PLA shrink film for your packaging needs:

PLA Shrink Film

 PLA Shrink Film

1. Eco-Friendly:

PLA is derived from renewable resources and is biodegradable, reducing the environmental impact compared to petroleum-based plastics.

2. Reduced Carbon Footprint:

The production of PLA generates fewer greenhouse gases and uses less energy than the production of traditional plastics.

3. Versatility:

PLA shrink film can be used for various applications, including food packaging, consumer goods, and product labeling.

4. Clear and Attractive:

PLA film provides a high-quality, clear finish that enhances the visual appeal of packaged products.

Considerations When Buying PLA Shrink Film

Before purchasing PLA shrink film, consider the following factors to ensure it meets your specific needs:

1. Compatibility with Packaging Equipment:

Ensure that the PLA shrink film is compatible with your existing packaging machinery. Some equipment may require adjustments or specific settings to work efficiently with PLA film.

2. Shrink Ratio and Temperature:

Check the shrink ratio and recommended shrinking temperature of the PLA film. This information is crucial for achieving a tight and even shrink around your products.

3. Thickness:

PLA shrink film comes in various thicknesses, typically measured in microns or mils. Thicker films provide better durability and protection but may require higher heat to shrink properly.

4. Biodegradability Certification:

Look for films that have been certified by recognized organizations for their biodegradability and compostability, such as the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) or TÜV Austria.

5. Cost:

While PLA shrink film can be more expensive than traditional plastic films, consider the long-term environmental benefits and potential for improved brand image as part of the overall cost-benefit analysis.

PLA Shrink Film

PLA Shrink Film

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long does it take for PLA shrink film to biodegrade?

A: The biodegradation rate of PLA shrink film depends on environmental conditions. In industrial composting facilities, PLA can break down within 3-6 months. In home composting or natural environments, the process may take longer.

Q: Is PLA shrink film safe for food packaging?

A: Yes, PLA shrink film is safe for food packaging. It is often used for wrapping fresh produce, baked goods, and other food items. Ensure that the PLA film you choose is food-grade certified.

Q: Can PLA shrink film be recycled?

A: While PLA is biodegradable, it is not commonly recycled through traditional plastic recycling streams. It is best composted in industrial composting facilities. Some specialized recycling programs may accept PLA products.

Q: Does PLA shrink film have the same properties as traditional plastic shrink film?

A: PLA shrink film offers similar clarity and shrink properties to traditional plastic films. However, it may have different mechanical properties, such as lower heat resistance and different shrink ratios. It is essential to test the film with your specific products and packaging equipment.

Q: What are the ideal storage conditions for PLA shrink film?

A: Store PLA shrink film in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture. High temperatures and humidity can affect the film's performance and shelf life.


Biodegradable PLA shrink film is an excellent choice for environmentally conscious businesses looking to reduce their carbon footprint and offer sustainable packaging solutions. By considering factors such as compatibility, shrink ratio, thickness, and certifications, you can select the right PLA shrink film for your needs. With its benefits in eco-friendliness, versatility, and visual appeal, PLA shrink film is a valuable addition to any packaging strategy.