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From the Great Ideas Dept.: Biodegradable USB keys

A Hong Kong company claims it's the first of its kind.

OK, seriously, why hasn't someone thought of this before?

USB corn biodegradable

A Hong Kong company says it's come up with a biodegradable USB drive. It's made out of fermented corn material, something called polylactide, which will actually break down in a way that doesn't harm whatever landfill it ends up in.

Hoshino, the drive's creator, is being really literal about it, as you can see, actually making the drive look like an ear of corn. Cute.

I don't really care what it looks like, something like this is very welcome. As evidence I offer a picture of my desk, below.

USB drive attack
Josh Lowensohn/CNET Networks

That's what happens when you go to any press conference or industry conference these days. Vendors and public relations agencies, trying to be environmentally conscious, are putting press releases and product images on USB keys instead of paper.

It's a great idea until those USB sticks start to pile up. As of now I've got 23 on my desk, and that's even considering I give them away as often as I can. Still, eventually these will end up in the garbage.

Luckily there are other companies thinking along these same lines. Some PC makers have already started incorporating biodegradable plastics. Fujitsu makes a notebook that's half corn-based materials, and half regular plastics.

(Via Gearlog)