Mitsubishi Motors Develops New Eco-friendly Floor Mats Using Plant-based Fibers

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC), working with Eidaikako, MRC Pylen and Toyota Tsusho has developed a new floor mat made using plant-based bio-polyethylene (bio-PE) fiber to add to its lineup of proprietary plant-based Green Plastic products. Bio-PE is a plant-based resin made using sugarcane molasses (a thick syrup produced in the refining of raw sugar). The company has developed the bio-PE fiber for use in floor mat piling with an eye toward reducing usage of petroleum-based plastics and cutting CO2 emissions. As opposed to conventional petroleum-based floor mats, the fiber in this new floor mat has a core-sheath structure in which the bio-PE core is covered with conventional petroleum-based polypropylene (PP) sheath which allows it to meet the high levels of performance demanded of car floor mats, including abrasion and heat resistance.

In-house calculations indicate that the new bio-PE fiber floor mat achieves a 15 percent reduction in life-cycle CO2 emissions over a similar mat made using petroleum-based PP fiber. The company plans to start production of the new floor mats in the summer of 2012.