Though the phrase Ecological Plastic sounds like an oxymoron, that is just what Toyota is calling their plant-based plastic material that will be featured in next year's hybrid fleet.
Toyota will debut the new Prius with its eco-plastic at the Detroit Auto Show. The material will be used in 60 percent of the interior, in features like the door trim, trunk liner, headliner, sun visors, pillar covers and seat cushions. Toyota asserts that the new material is carbon neutral because of the reduction in life-cycle emissions compared to petroleum-based plastic.
The material has been tested for heat and shock resistance and was found to perform the same as the traditional stuff. For those who are skeptical of its source, the plants used to make the plastic are non-edible.
Though this is not the first green plastic, I think this is great innovation on the part of Toyota. Obviously, the first thing that needs to be eliminated in cars is the oil-fueled engine, but there are also many other things in cars that are crying out to be updated, like plastic interiors. It's always good to improve anything that you can, however small it may seem.
written by Melody Platz, December 30, 2008
written by Rogier Noort, January 01, 2009
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