Some say it's a symbol of environmental wastefulness. Lawmakers in Sacramento are even trying to make California the first state to ban it.
But scientists now say they can convert PLASTIC BAGS into diesel and natural gas.
That's right. Plastic bags could some day power your car.
Hundreds of billions of plastic shopping bags are thrown away every year. It's estimated that only one in eight are recycled. The rest that are left wind up in a landfill or as litter in the ocean.
Previous studies have found a way to convert plastic bags into crude oil. But this is the first time that scientists have found a way to convert them into diesel.
Dr. Brajendra Sharma of the University of Illinois has taken his research further. He and his team have found a way to turn the crude oil into different petroleum products that could be used for many purposes.
Through the research, they were able to blend up to 30 percent of the plastic-derived diesel into regular diesel. Dr. Sharma says they found no compatibility problems.
(sources: NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Gizmag, Care2.com)