Casio has launched a pair of new sports watches made from biomass plastics, which are created from materials like castor beans and corn. As Casio’s fan blog G-Central explains, the case, strap, and back cover of the Pro Trek PRW-6611Y-1 and PRW-6621Y-1 are all made from this material rather than plastics. conventional petroleum-based.
This isn’t the first time Casio has swapped petroleum-based plastics for something a little more eco-friendly. In February this year, the company launched the PRW-61, a solar-powered sports watch made of the same materials and completely wrapped in paper. It’s a decision that makes a lot of sense, and it’s one of the most sensible uses of bioplastics I’ve seen.
You’ve probably come across bioplastics before, in the form of plastic coffee cups and cutlery, but these are less environmentally friendly than they first appear.
break it down for me
The problem is that “bioplastics” can refer to either materials made from plant-based materials (like those used by Casio) or biodegradable plastics that can be broken down by bacteria. Not all plastics made from plant materials are biodegradable, and not all biodegradable plastics are made from vegetables.
This plastic cup may be branded with a picture of a leaf or the word “organic”, but while it’s not biodegradable, it will last as long as a petroleum-based version. And even though it is “compostable”, it will only decompose under very specific conditions in an industrial facility. Put it in your home compost pile with your potato peelings, and it’ll still be there years later. It also won’t be recyclable with the rest of your household plastics – you’d be much better off with a sturdier cup that you can wash and reuse.
The type of plastic Casio uses is almost certainly not biodegradable, but that’s okay. The Pro Trek PRW-6611Y-1 and PRW-6621Y-1 are rugged watches meant to last for many years, so it’s not that important that they break down. Provided you still consider investing in a new timepiece, you might as well choose one that will use less petroleum products.
Like the PRW-1, the two new “green” G-Shock watches use photovoltaic cells to keep their batteries topped up, are water resistant to 100 meters and feature fully automatic LED lights. They also offer world time, a stopwatch, five programmable alarms, and sensors including an altimeter, barometer, and thermometer.
The pair is currently only available in Japan, with a price tag of 57,200 yen (about $450 / £350 / AU$600), but it could release internationally later this year.