If you glance at the luggage compartment of the Lexus CT 200h, nothing looks out of the ordinary. Truth is, Toyota hopes that even a drawn-out stare reveals only a familiar sight. Despite this, there's something inside that sets the Lexus' luggage compartment apart from any other vehicle in the world, and its called bio-PET. Toyota has developed a plant-based, low-carbon bioplastic derived from sugar cane. The company calls the stuff bio-PET Ecological Plastic and it lines the CT 200h's luggage compartment. The material is claimed to be more heat-, shrink- and wear-resistant than corn- or petroleum-based products and more durable as well.
Toyota plans to introduce a model in which its Ecological Plastic covers 80 percent of the interior surfaces by 2011. Bio-PET can be fashioned into just about anything, including upholstery, carpet, headliners, door panels and more. The low-carbon plastic is similar to conventional polyethelyne terephthalate (PET), but while regular PET is made with up to 30 percent monoethylene glycol, bio-PET uses none. Instead, it relies on the closely guarded sugar cane-derived compound.