On Wings of Waste

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The Idea

What if a fuel could come from waste plastic and help people and the environment at the same time?

What if it could create jobs and economic prosperity too?

Is this a dream?

We believe it can be reality…

In both developed and developing economies the need to lower carbon footprints, lower the volume of waste plastic produced and cut costs are both contemporaneous and future issues to manage.

Plastic waste in particular, is a major contributor to many environmental issues highlighted by the massive circular ocean currents or ‘gyres’ which concentrate plastic waste at their centres.

On Wings of Waste aims to raise awareness about how we can better use our resources. It is a campaign that, we hope, will lead to greater global attention on the need to lower the carbon footprint; reduce the volume of waste pouring into the oceans and cutting the costs of energy worldwide.

In October 2015, this project will see an aircraft depart Sydney for London, using diesel that is refined from 100% plastic waste.

This campaign aims to use aviation as vehicle – in more ways than one – to demonstrate how energy sources for the future can come from the end-life of non-recyclable plastics. It is based on the passion of an individual who has witnessed first hand the shocking impact that plastic waste has on the world’s oceans.

Plastic fuel – is it possible?

Aviation – the gateway to plastic fuel

To test our proposition that plastic waste can be used as an alternative fuel for aircraft, as well as other machines, we need to go through a demanding process to prove it can have a practical and universal use.

Unlike fuels for other vehicles, the most common aviation fuel – avgas – still contains lead which is toxic and damaging to the environment. So the benefits of the flight are twofold. It represents a breakthrough in fuel technology, helping to clean up end of life plastics whilst also generating a globally renewable energy source.

Plastic fuel – is it possible?

On Wings of Waste is based on scientific evidence that fuel derived from plastic waste is capable of driving a light aircraft on this epic journey. The team from On Wings of Waste have connected with Irish company Cynar, a pioneering technology development company which has developed commercially viable plastic to diesel fuel conversion.

The fuel uses end of life plastic, normally found in garbage patches in the ocean and in landfill sites, where it takes hundreds of years to degrade the waste into recyclable materials. 95% of the recyclable material is usable for diesel fuel and the remaining 5% known as ‘Char’ is a solid that can be used to create various floor coverings. To date the plastic fuel has been approved as a ‘winter diesel’, ensuring that it is in accordance with engine manufacturers specifications.

Origins of the campaign

In 2011, pilot Jeremy Rowsell flew across the Pacific to retrace the epic “Southern Cross” flight endeavour of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and Sir Charles Ulm in a tiny single engine light aircraft. The purpose of this flight was to raise awareness and money for the heroic daily work of the Royal Flying Doctors pilots. This flight was the catalyst for On Wings of Waste and led to the planning for the current campaign.

The On Wings of Waste flight is an ambitious and daring project to raise awareness about plastic waste and to highlight its potential benefits as a new source of fuel. The plan to fly half way across the world using fuel derived from plastic waste, stems from Jeremy’s fascination with the 1930’s pioneering aviators; their incredible, often dangerous, journeys, their tales of survival and their desire to break new records. What Jeremy shares with the pilots of yesteryear is the determination and tenacity to make a difference in the world, to help pioneer change and inform the world.

What Happens Next?

With a world focusing on the problem, The Ocean Ambassadors offer a possible solution. There are numerous organizations worldwide that have taken on the topic of waste plastic in the fields of research, outreach, education, corporate engagement and even taking on the almost impossible task of cleaning the ocean garbage patches. The Ocean Ambassadors focus on closing the tap in countries where little to no recycling exists.

From THE MARINE PLASTICS CHALLENGE: Jenna Jambeck, University of Georgia, “Middle-income economies have not developed the waste management systems necessary to keep pace with their growing economy. Suggesting culturally appropriate solutions, she urged working with developing countries on designing waste infrastructure and incentives for collection and reprocessing to achieve environmental, economic and public health benefits. She also noted that plastics do not biodegrade, but rather fragment into micro-plastics that are found in all areas of the ocean.”

After a stint consulting on waste plastic remediation techniques, focusing on converting plastics to oil and closed loop textile production, The Ocean Ambassadors are currently in Fiji developing the first full scale replicable model on how to develop recycling initiatives that can minimize the normally required capital investment and offer local processing utilities to minimize waste export.

The groundbreaking Fast Track Fiji program was custom designed to enable Fiji to become free of waste plastics, while utilizing next generation utilities.
Not simply sell and install a plastic to fuel processor, our team is currently building a complete waste re-direction scheme and educational resources to facilitate it’s success.

Our direct focus is to mobolize key areas of communities for consolidated mixed plastics collection such as schools, churches and service stations. Offering an achievable step in centralized collection to service each community.
On-board their flagship, S.V. Moana The Ocean Ambassadors carry a desktop size plastic to fuel processor,  and a complete range of Re-PET apparel, enabling them to offer a hands on educational approach and publicly demonstraight “waste” plastics go in and usable fuel or clothing come out.

The Ocean Ambassadors founder Capt. Adrian Midwood, offers 10 years full-time experience in the south pacific island nations. A true love for the ocean found on sport and now a committed professional in cleaning up the mess we ALL create.