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Attacking the Global Plastic Crisis

According to the large American company General Electric, ecomagination is the conglomerate’s “commitment to imagine and build innovative solutions to today’s environmental challenges while driving economic growth.”

Here’s one imaginative feat highlighted on the ecomagination forum: Jeremy Rowsell, an Australian pilot and insurance industry executive, is planning to fly from Sydney to London on fuel made from discarded household plastic waste. His single-engine plane will be powered by 4,000 liters of aviation-grade diesel derived from the melted plastic by an oxygen-free process called pyrolysis.

Rowsell says he was prompted to attempt this adventure by all the trash he sees floating in the Pacific Ocean while flying over it. The garbage kills the fish that eat it, entangles others in the waste and introduces poison into the food chain. In the ecomagination article on their website, Rowsell is quoted as saying, “You look down at that garbage in the Pacific, and you see the result of what it’s doing. I’m doing this because I believe that unless we do something to give back to the planet, we’re stuffed.”

He adds, “What we’re doing is using airplanes to show that a fuel, made from plastics, can change our world.”

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