Yamaha Motor now uses plastic made with corn for packing product instruction manuals
From September 2007, Yamaha Motor has begun to use "biomass plastic," a type of plastic with a plant-derived component, for the bags to pack motorcycle instruction manuals and some packing materials as one of its environmental measures.
This "biomass plastic" is a plastic made of a plant-derived resin component, which is a renewable resource, to replace un-renewable fossil resources like petroleum and coal. Many biomass plastics are made with industrial-use animal stock feed-use corn. The biomass plastic used by Yamaha for packing bags and packaging material is one of these corn-based types with a biomass ratio of approximately 30%.
The benefits of biomass plastic: reduced petroleum use and greenhouse gas emissions plus recycle-ability
The primary benefit of using biomass plastic in industrial products is eco-friendly. First of all, the bio constituent is made from corn and other plant derivatives, which reduces the amount of petroleum used for making plastics, thus helping to conserve that limited resource.
If the plastic is eventually incinerated at the end of its product life, it will release CO2 as a greenhouse gas. But since the plant-derived component absorbs CO2 through photosynthesis during its growth, it is a "carbon neutral" component that doesn't contribute to global warming in terms of the total product life cycle.
Furthermore, this biomass plastic can be reshaped and reused as a product (material recycling) and can also be heated or pressed to return to the raw material state (chemical recycling). At present, there is not a recycling system in place for biomass plastic products, but Yamaha has taken this proactive measure of adopting biomass plastics in anticipation of the time when recycling will become viable.
Biodegradable in one year as landfill
Just as there are now plastics made from petroleum that are biodegradable through the action of naturally occurring microbes and bacteria, there are also biodegradable types of biomass plastics. The packing bags used by Yamaha this time are made of one of these biodegradable plastics that will decompose within about one year when disposed of as landfill. If you are interested in verifying this fact, please try it.
*When conducting such experiments, be sure to fill it on your own land.
*The decomposition rate depends on the soil qualities.