(NaturalNews) Only around 7 percent of plastic waste in the United States gets recycled, estimates the Environmental Protection Agency. Several attempts at turning plastic into oil have been made in the past with not much success, but a new start-up company based in New York has a real solution for transforming recyclable plastic into gas. With gas prices at an all-time high, people need to make a bigger push for alternatives to oil. The company, JBI Inc., invented an innovative machine for turning plastic into oil that could make dependency on foreign oil a thing of the past.
JBI is run by a man named John Bordynuik in Niagara Falls. Bordynuik recently found a way for converting plastic into oil that unlike attempts by past companies makes a product with equal quality to standardized fuel. Many people are skeptical of using alternatives to oil because of reduced quality, but Bordynuik's machine turns plastic waste into oil as good as anything people buy, yet is significantly cheaper.
Bordynuik refers to his creation as the Plastic-Eating Monster. The machine melts all types of recyclable plastic and then rearranges the hydrocarbon chains in the plastic to transform it into No. 6 fuel. Recyclable plastic includes things like empty bottles, plastic shopping bags and plastic containers. JBI can produce a few thousand gallons of oil made from plastic waste every day. Bordynuik's process for turning plastic into oil makes a barrel of oil for around $10. JBI then sells the oil for about $100.
The dream of turning plastic into oil
Converting plastic into oil has been a dream of many companies for years, but often produced a dirty, low-quality product that was unable to replace the fuel used in cars and major machinery. However, Bordynuik's Plastic-Eating Monster is not the only such machine designed for turning plastic into oil. Last year, a businessman in Alaska named Bernie Karl made news for using his own plastic waste transforming machine.
Karl owns a company called K&K Recycling and Chena Hot Springs Resort in Fairbanks. The business began stockpiling discarded recyclable plastic, which caught the attention of locals who had no idea what the purpose of keeping plastic was. Karl surprised many when started using a Japanese machine capable of turning plastic into oil. The machine takes anything from styrofoam to plastic bags and melts them down in a vat heated to 800 degrees, turning the plastic into gas. The machine then sends the gas into a water container for cooling, which turns the gas into fuel. The resulting product is not high quality, but it may be good enough for use in machines like space heaters, which is quite useful in places like Alaska.
Environmental impact of converting plastic into oil vs. using alternatives to oil
Supporting alternatives to oil like making electric cars or using solar and wind power are still better for the environment. Even though Bordynuik's method of converting plastic into oil could put the 93 percent of recyclable plastic sitting in landfills to good use, oil is still a fossil fuel and as such creates pollution. However with major advances in hybrid cars, making a cheaper alternative to expensive fuel out of plastic waste is still a step in the right direction.
About the author: Sarka-Jonae Miller is a published novelist and MARSocial Author of the Year runner-up. She's also a former personal trainer and massage therapist. SJ's published work includes the #3 bestseller "Between Boyfriends" and the just released sequel"Between the Sheets". The chick lit series was recently featured in the San Diego Reader, the largest alternative newsweekly in the United States.