It was kind of neat to read about some high school kid in Canada that discovered a way to dissolve those ubiquitous plastic shopping bags. The only thing is, the problem most people have with those plastic bags is not that they can't be recycled, it's that they don't end up being collected after being used in the first place and that so many of them end up as litter.
Besides, even if all those plastic bags did end up in the landfills, I'm sure their volume would be relatively insignificant compared to all the other stuff we throw away.
But, even as I began reading about it, I was wondering how many bacteria you'd need and what sort of space it would take up. My worries were well founded. To quote the writer:
However, to substitute America’s weekly oil consumption of 143 million barrels, you would need a facility that covered about 205 square miles, an area roughly the size of Chicago.
That is quite a large area, but what if a number of smaller bug factories were spread all across the country like all our other factories are? I wonder what area all of our current oil refineries cover?
I also can't help but wonder if it wouldn't make more sense to figure out just exactly how the bacteria's digestive systems create the oil and try and duplicate that process rather than have the bacteria themselves do it?
Hat tip to lewrockwell.com for the heads up on that news item.