The adoption of plastic made from plant-based materials for a notebook PC

In January 2005, Fujitsu Ltd.,(富士通) Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd.(富士通研究所) and Toray Industries, Inc.(東レ) joined to develop the first plant-based plastics for use in personal computers. Since global warming caused by environmental pollution has become a serious social problem, the technical development of CO2 reduction is greatly promoted.

For the first time in the world, in June 2002, they developed techniques to use plants such as corn and potatoes in plastics for the small parts of a notebook PC. Subsequently, challenges such as flame retardancy, heat resistance, and high formability, which are required for IT devices including personal computers, were solved by combining vegetable-based plastic and petroleum-based resin and flameproofing technology. This enabled the commercial production that led to the adoption of the new plastic.

Since about 50% of the new plastic is developed from plant-based materials, it reduces consumption of the limited petroleum resources. The companies say that the adoption of the vegetable-based plastic for the notebook PC can reduce CO2 emissions by about 15% in the entire life cycle as compared with petroleum-based resin.

By expanding application of the new plastic, the three companies, Fujitsu Ltd., Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. and Toray Industries, Inc., jointly aim at contributing to the reduction of environmental burden and consumption of petroleum resources.