As part of its efforts to develop alternative materials to realize a lowcarbon and resource-recirculating society, Ricoh is working on the development of components and toners for copiers that utilize biomass resins. Biomass resins have been receiving increasing attention recently as they are recyclable and contribute less to global warming than their petroleum-based counterparts. In 2002, we started development of biomass plastic for application in our copiers, and in 2005, rolled out the industry’s fi rst multifunctional digital copier equipped with biomass components (50% biomass content1) in its main unit. As collection and recycling of toners after printing is rather diffi cult, it is important to reduce the environmental impact of their components—currently, petroleum-based resins constitute the primary components. Ricoh has worked on the commercialization of biomass toners since2 2006, releasing them onto market in November 2009.
Ricoh plans to continue technical development toward improving biomass content and expanding the use of biomass resins. At the same time, Ricoh plans to search for possibilities toward commercialization of technology for effectively using limited resources in other materials as well as by reducing the use of resources that are highly likely to dry up and focusing on alternative resources.
|2002||Began developing biomass plastic components as materials for copiers|
|2005||Became the industry’s first to employ plastic with 50% biomass content in the main component of a multifunctional digital copier|
|2006||Began efforts toward commercialization of biomass toners|
|2008||Released the imagio MP C2200 model, which employs a newly developed plastic component with roughly 70% biomass content|
|2009||Released the imagio MP 6001GP, equipped with “for E Toner,” and became the world’s first manufacturer to employ a biomass toner (25% biomass content)|