Sony revealed yesterday the world’s first IC card (Smart card) made out of vegetable-based plastic, and capable of contactless communication (see FeliCa). This particular card can run applications like the Edy pre-paid e-money service, or work as ID access cards for companies. Besides the announcement of the product, Sony also mentioned they will be issuing about 2000 cards with Edy applications to some of their employees.
IC cards have been around for a while, but eco-friendly vegetable-based cards with such capabilities are indeed something new. Although there is no real functional difference between these cards and the 100% plastic ones, Sony is trying to show their greener side to the world. Unless costs are competitive this technology is most likely bound to stay on the ground unfortunately.