First off, what is PLA?
PLA stands for polyactic acid, now this might sound scary, but that doesn't make it a bad thing! PLA is a thermoplastic polyester which is used in 3D printing a lot! PLA is surprisingly strong especially when it is printed due to the method of layers the composition of these layers create a very strong shear strength while the long lengths and the materials mechanical properties allow it to have a high tensile strength. This is part of why we offer a lifetime guarantee and will replace any broken parts, it's actually quite hard to break!
PLA at the end of its lifestyle is degradable! In the correct industrial conditions PLA can degrade in approximately 12 weeks, this is a perk of being a bioplastic. PLA is made from fermented plant starch, this comes from corn, maize sugar corn or sugar beet pulp as opposed to be oil based, that's right a lot of the material for PLA comes from corn starch! In the production process PLA uses approximately 65% less energy than a traditional plastic as well as creating 68% fewer greenhouse gases and as it is made from the corn starch there is no toxins released in manufacture directly!
See just because it has acid in the name it isn't that scary!
So what is rPLA?
rPLA is very similar to PLA except that added R at the beginning means that is has been processed frmo recycled plastic thus extending the life cycle of other products which otherwise may just be heading to landfill. From our supplier Filamentive we can see that the rPLA we use has up to 87% recycled plastic used in each reel (colour dependant) that's a lot of extended life for a lot of otherwise junk!