Abstract: The concept of biodegradable plastics is of considerable interest with respect to solid waste accumulation. Greater efforts have been made in developing degradable biological materials without any environmental pollution to replace oil-based traditional plastics. Among numerous kinds of degradable polymers, polylactic acid sometimes called polylactide, an aliphatic polyester and biocompatible thermoplastic, is currently a most promising and popular material with the brightest development prospect and was considered as the 'green' eco friendly material. Biodegradable plastics like polyglycolic acid, polylactic acid, polycaprolactone, polyhydroxybutyrate, etc. are commercially available for controlled drug releases, implantable composites, bone fixation parts, packaging and paper coatings, sustained release systems for pesticides and fertilizers and compost bags etc. This review will provide information on current PLA market, brief account on recent developments in the synthesis of lactic acid (monomer of PLA) through biological route, PLA synthesis, unique material properties of PLA and modification of those by making copolymers and composites, PLA degradation and its wide spectrum applications.
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