Pilot and environmentalist Jeremy Rowsell is planning a groundbreaking flight for August 2016 — traveling 3,000 miles from San Francisco to Anchorage, Alaska, in a plane fueled by plastic waste.
Rowsell was inspired to embark on the project after seeing devastating plastic pollution while flying over the Pacific Ocean.
“I believe that the problem can be resolved within a generation by changing attitudes and giving plastic value rather than treating it in a disposable fashion,” Rowsell says. “Plastic-to-oil technology is one of these solutions. The fuel itself is also more efficient and cleaner, and can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 70 percent.”
Rowsell teamed up with Plastic Energy, a company that converts end-of-life plastic to synthetic fuel, to power his upcoming flight.
Plastic Energy and CEO Carlos Monreal, as well as British icon Sir David Attenborough have backed the project, and Roswell is running an Indiegogo campaign to draw in more support. Donors of $40 or more will have their names written on the plane.
“Jeremy’s flight is a tremendous opportunity to showcase how plastic waste can be put to productive use instead of thrown away to pollute the oceans or despoil the land,” Monreal says.