Sony and Toppan Printing, a large Japanese printing company, have developed a Blu-Ray Disc based on a paper substrate which is more environmentally friendly than traditional discs.
Blu-ray Disc uses a blue laser to achieve a storage capacity of around 25G bytes or around five times that of current DVD discs. It is one of a number of new optical disc storage formats that are being targeted at applications such as storage of high-definition video.
In a Blu-ray Disc the recording layer on which the data is stored lies under a 0.1mm protective layer and on top of a 1.1mm thick substrate. The substrate, or basic surface on which a material adheres, is usually made of a polycarbonate plastic but the new prototype disc replaces this with paper. The result is a disc of which paper makes up approximately 51 percent of its weight, Sony.
By replacing plastic with paper the companies hope to produce a more environmentally friendly, as well as a more secure disc, said Taro Takamine, a spokesman for Sony in Tokyo.
"Oil is a limited resource but paper can be recycled," he said. "One of the initial advantages of the paper disc will be a decrease in the amount of raw material needed to produce a disc."
Another advantage is that by replacing most of the plastic in a disc with paper it helps the recycling process of manazines bundled with discs.
The paper disc is also much easier to destroy, so users can actually protect their data by cutting the disc in pieces with a pair of scissors.
Now Sony and Toppan Printing are investigating techniques to be able to mass produce paper Blue Ray discs. Another goal is to make cheaper Blu-Ray Discs. Currently Sony sells blank Blu-Ray discs for around ¥3,500 which is about $32.