Rubbish 'plane set to take to the skies

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A microlight aircraft powered by fuel made from waste plastic is set to fly from John O’Groats to Land’s End later this year.

The ‘Bioplane’ will be piloted by engineer Andy Pag and fuelled by a type of aviation fuel that has recycled plastic as its core feedstock.

Pag, who has driven a chocolate-powered truck to Timbuktu in Africa, said his business partners had devised a way to convert dirty, non-recyclable plastic items from municipal dumps “and re-arranges the hydrogen and carbon atoms in them into the shape of fuel molecules”.

“The fuel used will be independently tested to conform it meets the standards required for the engine,” said Pag. “This is a pioneering demonstration flight, not a risky test flight.”

By turning the bags and waste plastic into fuel Pag said he recognised the CO² would still end up in the atmosphere.

“However a load of ‘purpose made’ fuel is saved from being used, reducing total emissions. More simply, it puts a waste products to good use, reducing consumption and the associated emissions,” he added.

Pag’s flight will be undertaken in short, three-hour ‘hops’ and is expected to take two weeks during July and August.

In exchange for donating to the project Pag – who needs to raise £10,000 to get his ‘plane literally off the ground – said people can book themselves a seat on a leg of the flight.

“We’ll be stopping along the route to visit schools, businesses and sustainable energy-from-waste projects on the way,” he added.

You can donate to Pag’s bioplane flight here.