Pilot prepares for 10,500-mile flight fueled by plastic trash

Pilot Jeremy Rowsell is planning a very unusual flight in his small, single-engined Cessna 172. It'll be 10 day 10,500 mile journey starting in Australia and stopping in Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Egypt, Greece, and France, before wrapping up in London. Sounds like fun!

But what's unique about this trip is that Rowsell is fueling the Cessna with diesel processed from waste plastic. In other words, he's using garbage that would end up in a landfill if it wasn't instead being harnessed to fly an airplane from Sydney to London. This isn't stuff that's generally recyclable; it's plastic wrapping and packaging, also known as "end-of-life" plastic.

So, why is Jeremy doing this?

I’m not some larger-than-life character, I’m just a normal bloke. It’s not about me — the story is the fuel. The idea is to fly the whole route on plastic fuel alone and to prove that this technology works. I’m a kind of carrier pigeon, carrying a message.

Rowsell has two goals: to educate people on the issue of plastic pollution and to show that this type of waste can actually be repurposed. We'd suggest one more goal: making it from Australia to the UK without running out of plastic gas.

New York Times, via Telegraph

For the latest tech stories, follow DVICE on Twitter 
at @dvice or find us on Facebook