Samsung unveil mobile phone made from corn

As if things weren't bad enough already using corn for fuel, now the ever-resourceful cat and dog eating Koreans are using it to make mobile phones! -- Samsung Electronics has shown two new mobile phones made with plastic made from corn as it expands initiatives aimed at being more nature-friendly.

The W510 is the first mobile phone Samsung has ever made using the new corn-based plastic, the company said. Samsung did not use any heavy metals, such as lead, mercury or cadmium, in the handset either. The company has been working on the new plastic as a way to produce more environmentally-friendly materials.

Several companies have worked on corn-based plastics, including NEC and Fujitsu of Japan, to replace petroleum-based plastics in products such as laptop PCs and mobile phones. The idea of using corn-based plastics has been around for years, and has been reignited in recent years by the high price of oil.

In the 1990s, companies started putting corn-based plastics in a range of products, including plastic bags, water bottles and diapers, but companies avoided using them in heavier products because the plastic was weak.

More recently, researchers have mixed corn-based plastics with petroleum-based plastics to create a stronger material suitable for laptops and handsets.