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Victor Creative Media Co Ltd started taking orders for CD/DVD cases made with rice-based plastic. Though the plastic has already been used for the handle of paper fans and benches, this is the first time that it has been employed for CD/DVD cases.

The rice-based plastic is made from nonfood rice and plastic resin. This time, rice accounts for more than 10% of the material. The plastic uses less fossil material than existing plastics made entirely from oil.

When incinerated, it emits 10% less CO2 than the existing products in terms of carbon neutrality. Carbon neutrality here means that the CO2 generated by incinerating the rice would neither increase nor decrease the total amount of atmospheric CO2 because rice plants absorb CO2 while growing.

Agri Future Joetsu Co Ltd (Joetsu, Niigata Prefecture) will manufacture the plastic, and its affiliate Biomass Technology Co Ltd (Chuo Ward, Tokyo) will sell it. Victor Creative Media will be responsible for the production arrangement, quality check and marketing of the CD/DVD cases. Nakatani Sangyo Co Ltd (Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture) will manufacture the cases, which will be sold by Otoginomori Corp (Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture).

Under the current circumstances, the production cost per unit is several yen higher than the cost of other CD/DVD cases. Though the higher cost will be reflected in the selling price, content providers can show their environmental awareness to consumers.

According to Victor Company of Japan Ltd, some firms have already asked for the cases. CDs and DVDs in these cases will hit the shelves in late January to February 2009 at the earliest.