Toyota Motor Corp. plans to replace 20 percent of the plastics used in its automobiles with bioplastics by 2015, according to this story from Nikkei Business Publications Inc.'s Tech-On! news Web site. Toyota's Masatoshi Matsuda announced the goal at the BioJapan 2008 conference, held Oct. 15-7 in Yokohama. The report notes that Toyota has been cautious about using bioplastics. In 2003, it started making the spare tire cover and floor mat for the Raum from a composite material made of polylactic acid and kanaf. (The Raum is sold only in Japan). "We have not used bioplastics for any of our cars since then," Matsuda said. "We are not ready to use more bioplastics in view of the balance between the cost and the performances such as properties and formability." But the company will start to use more bioplastics -- starting with interior parts -- in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, he said. My experience with Japanese OEMs is that they're serious about these sorts of pledges -- and they often underpromise and then overdeliver. So 20 percent may not seem huge, and 2015 may seem like quite a few years from now, but I wouldn't be surprised to see progress toward meeting this goal a lot sooner.
Toyota to use bioplastics
Do you have an opinion about this story? Do you have some thoughts you'd like to share with our readers? Plastics News would love to hear from you. Email your letter to Editor at [email protected]