Biodegradable - with the right infrastructure
Although PLA is compostable and recyclable, it requires a sophisticated industrial composting facility. Most facilities today don't separate and recycle plastics. Also, mixing petro-based plastics with bioplastics poses a problem for the facility as it degrades the quality and specification of the recycled material. The plastics need to be separated before sent to a recycling center. Today, most PLA ends up in a landfill and estimates of its decomposition time range between 100 and 1,000 years. During that time the material releases methane gas (25 CO2 equivalents). The amount depends on additives and the raw material.