Plastic Disclosure Project

Plane Using Plastic as a Fuel Source

By Bettina Wassener

- Published on October 17, 2012 by www.nytimes.com

HONG KONG — Sometime in the next few months, a single-engine Cessna will fly from Sydney to London. Converted to be able to carry extra amounts of fuel, the small plane will take 10 days for its journey, making 10 or so stops along the way.

What will make this journey special is not the route or the identity of the pilot - a 41 year-old British insurance industry executive who lives in Australia - but the fuel that the aircraft will be using: diesel processed from discarded plastic trash. 

“I’m not some larger-than-life character, I’m just a normal bloke,” the pilot, Jeremy Rowsell, said by phone. “It’s not about me — the story is the fuel.”

The fuel in question will come from Cynar, a British company that has developed a technology that makes diesel out of so-called end-of-life plastics — material that cannot be reused and would otherwise end up in landfills.

Batches of the fuel will be prepositioned along the 17,000-kilometer, or 10,500-mile, route.

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