The APL Blog

Plastic Power! Are Carrier Bags The Fuel Of The Future?

Striped Vest Bags
Scientist discovers energy efficient way of converting bags into fuel

Money doesn’t grow on trees but maybe fuel is being given away for free at your local supermarket.

Scientists have recently discovered an energy efficient way of converting carrier bags into transport fuel, as well as a whole host of other petrol-based products.

Carrier bags can be distilled to produce natural gas, engine oil, hydraulic oil and diesel compatible fuels, according to a recent study by Dr Brajendra Sharma at the University of Illinois.

'You can get only 50 to 55 percent fuel from the distillation of petroleum crude oil,’ says Dr Sharma. ‘But since this plastic is made from petroleum in the first place, we can recover almost 80 percent fuel from it through distillation.’

Surprisingly this story was run by The Daily Mail, a paper that passionately protests against carrier bags and even runs a Ban The Bag campaign. Will the discovery by Dr Sharma and his team in Illinois convince doubters that plastic is a useful material with reusable potential?

Only last week APL reported on how Buckinghamshire was reusing plastic to create long-lasting waterways, you could argue that converting carrier bags into fuel is a similar type of recycling.

Dr Sharma’s study goes further to prove how versatile and useful plastic is, as his team of researchers blended up to 30 percent of their plastic-distilled diesel with regular diesel and found no compatibility issues. There weren’t even any problems blending it with biodiesel.

With plastic once again proving itself as a flexible resource it further undermines the carrier bag tax. The 2015 levy, which is already being described as a ‘complete mess’, does not recognise the true potential of plastic and is merely a voter-rallying quick-fix.

Can you see plastic powered cars filling the roads in the future? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Until next time,

Dominic
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