The Complexities of PLA and Climate-Related Disclosures

Alfred Tang

Hatched by Alfred Tang

May 13, 2024

3 min read


The Complexities of PLA and Climate-Related Disclosures


In recent news, there has been a ban on the use of PLA (polylactic acid) in various locations, causing confusion and concern among environmental advocates. PLA, often touted as a biodegradable plastic alternative, has faced scrutiny due to its categorization alongside traditional plastics. Additionally, the implementation of IFRS S2 Climate-related Disclosures has shed light on the complexities surrounding greenhouse gas emissions and the need for comprehensive data representation. In this article, we will explore the challenges faced by PLA and the importance of accurate climate-related disclosures.

The Misclassification of PLA:

Despite being marketed as a biodegradable plastic, PLA has faced setbacks due to its categorization alongside traditional plastics. This misclassification has resulted in the improper disposal of PLA, which ends up in landfills rather than being recycled properly. By grouping PLA with traditional plastics, the recycling process becomes contaminated, affecting the quality of recycled plastics. It is crucial to recognize that PLA has its advantages in terms of its biodegradability and should be handled and recycled accordingly.

Understanding the Advantages of PLA:

PLA stands out from traditional plastics due to its biodegradability and renewable sourcing. Unlike conventional plastics, which are derived from fossil fuels, PLA is made from renewable resources such as cornstarch or sugarcane. This renewable sourcing makes PLA a more sustainable choice, as it reduces dependence on non-renewable resources. Additionally, PLA has the ability to break down naturally, making it an environmentally-friendly option. However, it is essential to ensure that PLA is properly sorted and recycled to maximize its potential as a sustainable alternative.

The Importance of Accurate Climate-Related Disclosures:

The implementation of IFRS S2 Climate-related Disclosures has highlighted the significance of providing accurate data on greenhouse gas emissions. These disclosures require entities to disclose their absolute gross greenhouse gas emissions and provide industry-based metrics for CO2 equivalents. Furthermore, the disclosures extend to encompass the entire value chain, including parent and subsidiary companies, associates, joint ventures, and unconsolidated subsidiaries. This comprehensive approach ensures that climate-related risks and opportunities are properly assessed and addressed.

Connecting PLA and Climate-Related Disclosures:

While seemingly unrelated, PLA and climate-related disclosures share a common thread - the need for accurate representation and proper handling. PLA's misclassification as a traditional plastic highlights the importance of accurate categorization to ensure effective recycling. Similarly, climate-related disclosures emphasize the need for comprehensive data representation to address environmental risks and opportunities throughout the value chain. By understanding and implementing accurate classifications and disclosures, we can work towards a more sustainable future.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Proper Sorting and Recycling: To maximize the benefits of PLA as a biodegradable plastic alternative, it is crucial to ensure proper sorting and recycling. Educate yourself and others on the correct disposal methods for PLA products, and support recycling initiatives that prioritize PLA recycling.
  • 2. Advocate for Clearer Categorization: Encourage policymakers and organizations to create clearer categorization systems for PLA and other biodegradable plastics. By distinguishing these materials from traditional plastics, we can ensure that they are handled and recycled appropriately.
  • 3. Support Comprehensive Climate-Related Disclosures: As consumers and stakeholders, support companies that provide transparent and comprehensive climate-related disclosures. By holding companies accountable for their greenhouse gas emissions and climate-related risks, we can drive positive change towards a more sustainable future.


The complexities surrounding PLA and climate-related disclosures highlight the challenges we face in achieving a more sustainable world. By recognizing the unique advantages of PLA, implementing accurate categorization, and promoting comprehensive climate-related disclosures, we can make significant strides towards a more environmentally-friendly future. Let us prioritize responsible consumption and advocate for accurate data representation to protect our planet for future generations.

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