New Invention Offers Way to Reduce Ocean Plastic Pollution and Fossil Fuel Dependency

February 17th 2017

Willie Burnley Jr.

Scientists have estimated that there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of metric tons of plastic floating in our oceans today. Toxins from the plastic are negatively affecting the health of sea animals and the humans who eat them.

What makes this worse is that plastic doesn't naturally biodegrade, resulting in accumulations of trash that have created islands of garbage.

To address this, Japanese inventor Akinori Ito created a tabletop machine that can convert plastic waste into oil.

The resulting oil can be burned on its own or refined into gasoline, kerosene, and diesel.

Ito calls his invention "Blest Machines," which use technology similar to that in large recycling facilities.

Ito's machines have the potential to revolutionize how people both manage their plastic waste and fuel their everyday needs.

The United States ranks 20th among the worst 20 nations dumping plastic into the oceans; Asian countries are the worst offenders.

The thirst for crude oil and other fossil fuels in the United States has resulted in the construction of highly controversial projects, such as the Keystone XL and the Dakota Access pipelines.

Recycling plastic into fuel offers us another way to lower our dependence on oil drilling and fracking.

As we move toward a more sustainable way of life as a species, we will necessarily have to move away from fossil fuels and nonbiodegradable materials.

Until then, we can at least make an effort to not be needlessly wasteful.