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Polymers 2015, 7(8), 1476-1496; doi:10.3390/polym7081465

Disposal Options of Bamboo Fabric-Reinforced Poly(Lactic) Acid Composites for Sustainable Packaging: Biodegradability and Recyclability

1
Centre for Advanced Composite Materials (CACM), Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
2
School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang 11800, Malaysia
3
Cluster for Polymer Composites, Science and Engineering Research Center, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang 14300, Malaysia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Ji Ho Youk
Received: 7 June 2015 / Revised: 22 July 2015 / Accepted: 29 July 2015 / Published: 13 August 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [9208 KB, uploaded 13 August 2015]   |  

Abstract

The present study was conducted to determine the recyclability and biodegradability of bamboo fabric-reinforced poly(lactic) acid (BF-PLA) composites for sustainable packaging. BF-PLA composite was recycled through the granulation, extrusion, pelletization and injection processes. Subsequently, mechanical properties (tensile, flexural and impact strength), thermal stability and the morphological appearance of recycled BF-PLA composites were determined and compared to BF-PLA composite (initial materials) and virgin PLA. It was observed that the BF-PLA composites had the adequate mechanical rigidity and thermal stability to be recycled and reused. Moreover, the biodegradability of BF-PLA composite was evaluated in controlled and real composting conditions, and the rate of biodegradability of BF-PLA composites was compared to the virgin PLA. Morphological and thermal characteristics of the biodegradable BF-PLA and virgin PLA were obtained by using environment scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), respectively. The first order decay rate was found to be 0.0278 and 0.0151 day−1 in a controlled composting condition and 0.0008 and 0.0009 day−1 in real composting conditions for virgin PLA and BF-PLA composite, respectively. Results indicate that the reinforcement of bamboo fabric in PLA matrix minimizes the degradation rate of BF-PLA composite. Thus, BF-PLA composite has the potential to be used in product packaging for providing sustainable packaging. View Full-Text
Keywords: biodegradability; cellulosic fiber; poly(lactic) acid; recyclability; sustainable packaging biodegradability; cellulosic fiber; poly(lactic) acid; recyclability; sustainable packaging
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Fazita, M.N.; Jayaraman, K.; Bhattacharyya, D.; Hossain, M.S.; Haafiz, M.M.; H.P.S., A.K. Disposal Options of Bamboo Fabric-Reinforced Poly(Lactic) Acid Composites for Sustainable Packaging: Biodegradability and Recyclability. Polymers 2015, 7, 1476-1496.

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