Bioplastics-Hungry Vermin?

Posted by: Kenji Hall on July 10, 2007

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The other day, a reader commented on a story I wrote about bioplastics (BusinessWeek.com “NEC Pushes Plastic Made From Crops”, 5/5/2007). He writes:

The one thing your BusinessWeek article overlooked is the rather significant problem car owners are having with mice eating the wires and other items on cars with plastics made from soy and other edible material. They need to put something into the formula to stop mice from eating the parts! I think there were a number of Honda owners who were having that problem.

This has been a common complaint among motorists for many years. I’ve heard of rodents nesting on the engine block and in the air ducts and chewing through electrical wires. I’m no car expert but as far as I know this has nothing to do with wires being made from bioplastics. I’m double-checking with the Japanese automakers. I’ve also sent inquiries to NEC, Fujitsu and other tech companies that use bioplastics in their products. I imagine I’d be quite miffed if some hungry vermin made a meal of my new, eco-friendly $1,000 flat-panel TV.

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