OKI Data Corporation, an OKI Group company specializing in the printer business, today announced it will introduce a bioplastic part consisting of at least 25% (by weight) of plant-based renewable biomass resources in all its printers and MFPs.
Products manufactured from March 2011 onward will incorporate bioplastic, marking the first effort among OKI Group companies to use bioplastic in products.
OKI Data is currently active in 120 countries, selling approximately 1.1 million printers and MFPs annually. Today's introduction of bioplastic is expected to reduce its annual CO2 emissions by three tons.
"Plant-based renewable bioplastics reduce environmental impact by reducing CO2 emissions and the petroleum resources consumed," said Harushige Sugimoto, President of OKI Data. "OKI Data is proactively developing products and technologies to reduce environmental impact. The company has long considered using bioplastic in its printers and MFPs. However, compared to traditional plastic, bioplastics offer formidable challenges in the areas of flame resistance, strength, heat resistance, and formability."
The bioplastic announced today is based on polyactic acid, a plant-based renewable resource. It offers enhanced flame resistance, strength, heat resistance, and formability, as well as high transparency and ease of processing, qualities that allow use of the product to form elements ranging from exterior components to mechanical parts. It is widely used in stationery, electrical home appliances, and office equipment. Cost competitiveness and the procurability of this bioplastic for overseas manufacturing facilities were key factors in its selection.
OKI Data is firmly committed to reducing its CO2 emissions, having set a goal to cut emissions by 6% relative to 2007 levels by 2012. Introducing bioplastics is one of the ways it intends to achieve this goal. Where possible, the company plans to replace traditional petroleum-derived plastics with plant-based renewable bioplastics in its future printers and MFPs.