Panasonic to debut bioplastic appliances

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In Japan, appliance major Panasonic says it will begin using plant-based plastic in its products within a few years.

The company has developed a material strong enough for use in refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, and other appliances that is just over half cellulose fiber, a major component of plants. Panasonic will also work with other companies to expand use of the material into other applications.

The material is still more expensive to produce than traditional petrochemical materials, although Panasonic is working to lower cost of production and, in the longer term, evaluate the potential for 100% plant-derived materials.