If you’re a fan of biofuel, you’ll love this: a phone made with a corn-based enclosure from Samsung [SEO:005930]. The E200 Eco phone doesn’t sport any mind-blowing specs; it simply features a 1.3MP camera and MP3 player functionality along with the regular suite of phone functions. But its enclosure is molded out of a bioplastic made with corn, and when it is made available next month in Europe it will arrive in recycled packaging material.
Interestingly, bioplastic continues to become more popular even though the definition of what constitutes “bioplastic” hasn’t officially been agreed upon. What is known is that it makes use of renewable, cellulosic materials — like wood chips, vegetables or forest detritus — to create a petro-plastic substitute. But much like biodiesel, it requires some amount of petroleum infusion during the production process, and there’s no established rule for just how much biomass a bioplastic must contain to be called a bioplastic. For all we know, Samsung’s Eco phone could have an enclosure made of 1% corn-derived cellulose, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction.