Toyota Motor Corporation is developing new plastic products made from natural materials to be used in building their cars. Bioplastics are biodegradable, their production doesn't increase the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, and they are more environmentally friendly than conventional plastics.
The company has been growing sweet potatoes in Indonesia and using the starch from the tubers to create this new generation of plastics. Presently only floor mats and wheel covers on some car models are made from these bioplastics, but Toyota plans to expand their production and use these materials in all aspects of their car production. Toyota also is looking at producing hydrogen fuel from sweet potatoes to power their cars.
For more information on Toyota's research into bioplastics, go to their Web site at: www.toyota.co.jp/en/more_than_cars/bio_afforest/satsumaimo.html