Friday, 23 March 2007


A company in Australia is starting to produce low sulphur diesel from waste plastics that until now could not be recycled and would otherwise end up as landfill. The company called Axiom also plans to be the largest producer of biodiesel on the Australian Eastern seaboard. Currently, 88 per cent of the 1.5 million tonnes of plastic consumed in Australia annually is sent to landfill, this amount could convert to more than 1 billion litres of low sulphur diesel. For example, a simple ice-cream container, weighing just 68 grams can be converted into a diesel fuel which will power a VW Golf car with a diesel engine for approximately one mile. Other plastics that can be converted into low sulphur diesel include chemical and oil containers and bottles, municipal solid waste plastics such as wraps, packaging, bottles and toys; as well as milk crates, silage wraps, irrigation tubing, polypiping and polystyrene packaging. Biodiesel can be mixed in any ratio with petroleum diesel to create a blend, for sale on the general diesel market. Biodiesel can decrease emissions of greenhouse gases by over 90% (biodiesel made from used cooking oil); it is non-toxic and improves operational performance. Other countries will hopefully take up this process but of course it would be far more favourable to stop producing the packaging for wrapping in the first place!


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