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Plastic to oil fantastic

November 15, 2010

From Our World 2.0

Plastic to oil fantastic

By Carol Smith

We are all well aware of plastic’s “rap-sheet.” It has been found guilty on many counts, including the way its production and disposal raises resource issues and lets loose extremely negative environmental impacts.

Typically made from petroleum, it is estimated that 7% of the world’s annual oil production is used to produce and manufacture plastic. That is more than the oil consumed by the entire African continent.

Plastic’s carbon footprint includes landfilling and incineration, since sadly, its recycle rate is dismally low around the globe.

Plastic trash is also polluting our oceans and washing up on beaches around the world. Tons of plastic from the US and Japan are floating in the Pacific Ocean, killing mammals and birds. Perhaps this tragedy is best captured in the TED presentation by Capt. Charles Moore of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation.

Using less, or use it better?

Thankfully, there are those who fully appreciate that plastic has a higher energy value than anything else commonly found in the waste stream. A Japanese company called Blest created a small, very safe and easy to use machine that can convert several types of plastic back into oil.


From Our World 2.0

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 21, 2010 6:07 am

    OK the above comments are just what has already been said before in other blogs. That Fine with me as it reinforces the message. The plastic story is only part of the waste management of the worlds singular most pressing problem. I go back 35 yrs when we could have had total recycling of waste, with zero pollution, no emissions , extractions on the process to finally bake the remaining waste into a resource material , through ceramic technology.
    What happening to this world first technology, its intelectual property, was partly stolen ,
    The patents left to find a new home and the benifactor of the deceased estate dumped it all with no interest. In all my seventy years this has been the most tragic event that the world has lost, and what could have been the solution to all the pollution.

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