Turn Waste Plastic Into Fuel

by phillipsauve on February 28, 2011

plastic bag nightmare 001

Want to go for a walk? (Photo Courtesy of Zainub)

Plastic is everywhere.  It has found its way into all sorts of products that we use regularly.  You can now buy a plastic toy in plastic packaging at the store and they’ll put it into a plastic bag for you.  How convenient!  But what happens to all that plastic?  A plastic bag that goes to a landfill will take 10 to 20 years to degrade.  A lot of the plastic doesn’t make it to the trash though, and now we have a garbage pile in the Pacific Ocean estimated to be twice the size of Texas.  Yes, that is huge.

Well, now a Japanese inventor by the name of Akinori Ito has created a machine that turns waste plastic back into oil, and with one extra refining step it can be turned into gasoline.  Further good news: the machine uses barely any energy.  Imagine taking all your plastic waste (shopping bags, wrappers, takeout containers, etc) and turning it into a gallon of gas that you then put into your car.  This doesn’t relieve us from our oil dependency, but it would help us keep tons of plastic from contaminating our soils and waterways.  It would also let us reuse all the wasted plastic from ‘disposable’ products that are used once and tossed away.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jesse March 3, 2011 at 7:18 pm

Dude, this is epic. Between this and biodiesel it’s going to be like Back to the Future 2 up in this mofo.

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phillipsauve March 7, 2011 at 9:26 am

Let’s hope so! I think the fact that it uses so little energy is its biggest selling point. DeLoreans for everyone!

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