By Megan Dobransky on Feb 21, 2011

Japanese Inventor Turns Plastic Bags into Oil


This machine will turn plastic into oil - for only $10,000. Photo: Blest Corporation

Plastic grocery bags have long been the ire of consumers and cities. They’re often not picked up in standard curbside recycling programs. They’ve been taxed or charged, and some cities have outright banned them.

Soon all of the negativity could be turned into praise.

[search type=”recycling” what=”plastic bag” what label=”plastic bags”]

A Japanese inventor has discovered a way to turn plastic bags, bottles and caps into usable crude oil that can be used for heating homes on an individual level.

The large-scale testing of this technology is currently underway in Washington, D.C. to be used on a community level, but this is the first time that the public can utilize the technology at home.

The machine uses one kWh of energy to convert two pounds of polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE) or polystyrene (PS) plastic into one quart of oil. The oil can then be used in a power generator or can be further refined with a second machine into gasoline.

While the $10,000 price tag might scare off most consumers, the company that is selling the device – Blest Corporation – hopes that as demand increases prices will decrease.

You may also like…
5 Ways to Be a Better Recycler
Recycle Reusable Bags for Charity
Why You Can’t Ignore Plastics Recycling


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      • Eric Bauer

        I love technology like this–taking something that is the bane of the recycling world and turning it into a useful substance. Much better than burning or burying it. I know of some places that generate enough plastic to nearly be able to heat their buildings with the resulting oil. Very encouraging!