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Agri-Plas Develops Crude Oil from Recycled Plastic

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Many companies manufacture synthetic crude oil–the entire Canadian oil shale industry comes to mind–but Oregon-based Agri-Plas is the first US company to convert hard-to-recycle agricultural plastics into crude oil.

The company recently delivered its first full, 8,200 gallon tanker of oil to a refinery in Washington. That’s 196 barrels of oil derived from greenhouse cover, dirty agricultural film, soda bottles, prepackaged food containers, and other low-value plastics.

Agri-Plas’ second full tanker is scheduled for delivery later this month. In April, the company will break ground on a facility that can manufacture enough crude oil to deliver a full tanker every day. If all goes well, the company plans on adding 58 new green-collar jobs at its Brooks, Oregon headquarters by the end of 2009.

Agri-Plas already acts as one of Oregon’s largest recycling plants, processing about 15 percent of the state’s waste each year.

Before you point out that the last thing we need is more oil to feed our addiction, consider this: most plastic items either end up in landfills or are burned. Petroleum is present in everything from food to lip balm, and as long as that’s the case, better that we use the synthetic, recycled stuff.

[Via Business Wire]

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