The sustainability of bio-based plastics placed on the food packaging market is questionable. It is believed that production and use of bio-based alternatives to petrochemical-based plastics may lead to negative unintended consequences. This project will investigate the production and use of polylactic acid (PLA) introduced in the food packaging value chain, including all processes involved in its life cycle from raw material extraction and processing, to manufacture, distribution and use of PLA products. Using multivariate analysis it will explore the sustainability of different end-of-life management options (such as landfill, incineration, composting, anaerobic digestion) using a scenario-based approach. Via the use of a novel decision matrix the study will culminate the positive and negative impacts (positive and negative) of PLA introduced in the food packaging value chain, to guide decisions on its sustainability performance in different contexts.