Polylactic acid or poly lactic acid (PLA) is a polymer or bioplastic consisting of lactic acid-like elements, with properties similar to those of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) which is used to make packaging, but which can also be biodegradable under certain conditions at temperatures of the order of 60 °C. It can degrade in water and carbon oxide. PLAs are produced by ring-opening polymerisation of lactide rings.
It is a thermoplastic whose base materials are obtained from corn or cassava starch, or sugar cane.
It is widely used in 3D printing in a process called fused deposition modelling (FDM).