Approximately 26 million metric tons of plastic go into U.S. landfills every year — not to mention the millions of plastic from the rest of the world — and now one company hopes to find a new use for all of that trash. Cynar, based in Ireland, makes airplane fuel from plastic waste. Later this year, a British pilot will fly a plane from Sydney to London running on nothing but plastic.

The plane is a Cessna 182, designed to run on diesel fuel, but Cynar says it will run as well (or better) on the plastic-based fuel. The plastic fuel is created through pyrolysis, a technique that melts waste. Unlike incineration or burning, pyrolysis takes place in a special oxygen-free chamber, and creates few emissions while being processed. The technique creates a petroleum distillate that can then be made into fuels. For a small portion of the plastic waste that cannot be made into fuel, the company creates floor coverings instead.

The plastic-based fuel has been tested in cars, but the Sydney-London flight will be the first test in an aircraft. Along the 10,000 mile journey, the pilot will make stops at Darwin, Australia; Christmas Island; Sri Lanka; Oman; Jordan; and Malta. At its longest stretches, the plane will be in the air for up to 13 hours. The trip will take six days, using fuel made from about 5 metric tons of plastic waste.

In the past, airlines have tested other alternative fuels, like those made from plant stock or food waste, but experts have argued that there won’t be enough source material, particularly in the case of biofuels made in areas that could be used for food production. Plastic is another story, with vast supplies of waste available. The challenge may be collecting it. In the U.S., the plastic recycling rate is still a tiny 7.1 percent.

Main photo credit: redlegsfan21/Flickr