September 01, 2004
In accordance with its approach to environmental conservation, Sony is making a concerted effort to use vegetable-based plastic, a biomass resource (*1), for use in making company products and their packaging materials.
Vegetable-based plastic benefits the environment in many ways and Sony is working proactively to develop the necessary technology in this area as a way to promote environmental conservation. Vegetable-based plastic has now been applied in four different Sony products and two types of packaging materials (*2).
Upon the above past achievement, Sony today announced that it has successfully developed the world's first non-contact IC card made from vegetable-based plastic.
The usage of non-contact IC card (*3) is increasing rapidly for its benefits on convenience and security.
Plastics such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) are currently used in the manufacture of non-contact IC cards, as they pose the least threat to the environment, for example during incineration at the end of a product's life. However the new cards, made from vegetable-based plastic enabled the improvement of environmental consciousness.
Furthermore, by adjusting the balance of polylactic acid (*4) (the main source material for vegetable-based plastics) and the other composite materials, performance levels comparable to existing non-contact IC cards have been achieved across signal transmission, reliability and mechanical durability.
The new non-contact IC cards comprising 90% vegetable-based plastic in terms of thickness and volume (or approximately 75% in terms of total mass), offer numerous advantages such as reduced consumption of exhaustible resources, fewer greenhouse gas emissions, greater renewability and a more stable chemical composition.
Sony is committed to working actively over the long term to develop unique technology that will contribute to environmental conservation.