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Monday, August 23, 2010

A Machine That Turns Plastic Back Into Oil

Posted by Alec_Liu


Plastic causes a trifecta of problems. We’re running out of places to dump our non-biodegradable plastic waste and it’s clogging up our oceans. Burning plastic releases tons of CO2 into the atmosphere contributing to global warming. And to make the stuff, it soaks up 7% of our annual petroleum use, an in demand, diminishing resource.

Akinori Ito, the CEO of Blest, a Japanese company, has somewhat of a panacea. If plastic is just oil, why don’t we simply turn it back into what it was, he pondered. So the guy made a machine to do it. His solution is safe, eco-friendly and efficient.

“If we burn the plastic, we generate toxins and a large amount of CO2. If we convert it into oil, we save CO2 and at the same time increase people’s awareness about the value of plastic garbage,” Ito told Our World 2.0.

Blest produces the machines in various sizes suitable for more industrial purposes or simple home use. There are already 60 in use across Japan at farms, fisheries, and small factories with some beginning to ship overseas for the environmentally conscious and curious abroad.

One kilogram of plastic waste produces almost a liter of oil while using about 1 kilowatt of electricity.

“To make a machine that anyone can use is my dream,” Ito says. “The home is the oil field of the future.”