A review concerning general characteristics of polylactic acid (PLA) and methods of its synthesis using renewable vegetable resources. Methods of PLA synthesis either by lactid acid polycondensation or by ring-opening polymerization (ROP) of lactide have been presented. For ROP method the polymerization mechanisms (cationic, anionic and coordinative) have been characterized and the effect of the type of catalyst used on the polymerization course and polymer properties have been detaily described. Preparation of lactide copolymers has been taken into consideration. The process of PLA degradation and directions of PLA applications have been discussed.