CALGARY, Alberta – The Government of Canada introduced the Single-Use Plastics Prohibition Regulations (SUPPR) some time ago in an effort to address pollution and meet its target of zero plastic waste by 2030. What does this mean for you? Well, I’m sure by now you’ve consumed a drink that ends up tasting like cardboard, or used a cardboard take-out fork that bends quicker than Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s knees at a boy bar. But until 2030 rolls around, there will still be single-use plastics floating around and a Red Deer-based company has a novel way how to make environmentally-sensitive use of it.
Introducing PlastiMent – a fledgling company born out of economic and environmental necessity, has a plan for all the single use plastic everyone is trying to ban.
Founders Jack Halberty and Jegg Thomlisan, plan to pump a slurry or half melted plastic into the deepest reaches of fault lines in sensitive areas, to prop open fault lines, stop the shift, and halt earthquakes forever.
The concept is simple, pump a half-melted slurry of liquid plastic, combined with shredded aluminum from cans, and even styrofoam, deep into fault lines, where it continues to melt, then spread out into the fault zones, where the aluminum props the fault open with its jagged edges and prevent further movement.
Its not a new idea, people have been talking about using some kind of proppant to hold those fault zones open for years as jokes. Well who’s laughing now?
The exact composition of the slurry will have to be decided after much more research is done on the pressures and edge-wall grading of the moving faults. And the slurry temperatures will also have to be derived as the project moves forward. Aluminum cans and other various recycling will need to be tested to figure out mechanical properties required to make the slurry stable.
“We can pump 2.3 million melted shopping bags into the smaller faults, likely with a mixture of several million aluminum cans. If we start to incorporate other plastic containers we thin we can stabilize almost the whole world, including remote places in the Ring Of Fire, to help prevent these tragedies and saves lives. Plastic saves lives folks, and that’s the truth of it.” – Jack Halberty, CEO and Operations technical manager at Plastiment.
While drilling into fault zones isn’t common place, there are a few experimental companies that are delving into the operational side of this. Calgary-based GenDrill is one company that has been working on a micro-drilling technique that could be adapted to the injection process if a stringer of that size could be created to withstand the pressures.
Opponents of the company’s plan abound. Peace Riversong, with the Pembina Cardium Insitute, believes that disposed plastics don’t belong “within Mother Earth” and should be put some place where they won’t bother her.