Oil In Your Rubbish Bin

Oil from plasticThis is SO cool, I was thinking of holding it off for a Science Saturday article…..but I just couldn’t wait!

Almost every western industrialised nation – except perhaps for the USA – has embarked on various forms of large scale recycling initiatives. Glass, paper and tin cans are regularly separated. But nobody has come up with a useful way of recycling plastics. Plastic takes a LOOONG time to decompose. They are not naturally biodegradable, and they consume a lot of space in the worlds rubbish dumps. What’s even worse is that all plastics are made from oil! Think about that for a second. We consume oil for getting us from A to B, in growing and transporting our food and in packaging that food in plastic containers for consumption at a later date. Our food is literally covered in oil.

But Japanese scientist, Akinori Ito, from Blest Corporation, has come up with an amazing, yet simple solution which not only tackles the problem with recycling waste plastic, but could also help resolve our dependence on the ever diminishing fossil fuels. His novel and simple solution is to heat the plastics and melt them back down to their oil based constituents. This oil can then be refined for use in home heating, cooking or for your car and truck.

The weird thing is that I only came across this now (thanks for sharing it Dawn), but the video was made back in 2010. I checked various “hoax checking” sites and they all confirmed its validity. So why is nobody else trying to make bigger versions of his machine? Well, there are larger installations already up and running. But as you can imagine, they are predominantly based in poorer nations who do not have a large oil and gas lobby group which would railroad such a project.

As with anything, you need to put energy into something to get energy back out. The beauty of this is that you could power it via wind or solar power, melting the plastic down and converting it back into oil. You would actually help the planet!

Why our supposed eco-friendly soundbite loving politicians here in Europe haven’t done anything about rolling this across Europe is beyond me. But I would love to get my hands on one of these for myself.

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  1. Pingback: Science Saturday – Cleaning The Worlds Oceans | IrishmanAbroad.com

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