You've seen picnic ware and household items made out of biodegradable plastic. Now, here's a notebook with a biodegradable chassis.
This Fujitsu LifeBook sports a chassis made from a plastic made from cornstarch rather than petroleum. It costs more, but it's green. Put the chassis in a landfill and it will go away over the course of months. Real plastic will take decades.
Producing the cornstarch-based plastic, which comes from a supplier, also results in 15 percent less carbon emissions. Those vials (pictured at left) to the side, by the way, show the progress from corn kernels to plastic.
Fujitsu has also used the plastic on cell phones and point-of-sale terminals. The products right now are only available in Japan. Following pollution problems and the oil shock of the '70s, Japan embarked on a somewhat aggressive environmental program. Although environmentalism rises and dips, energy efficiency programs have remained somewhat strong. As a result, Japan remains one of the largest markets and producers of solar power.
You will start to see more stuff like this in the U.S. and Europe, though. The cost of bio-plastic will also decline as companies like Cereplast and agricultural bigwigs like Archer Daniels Midland expand production.