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The Biotruck has driven 30,000km across the world (irishwildcat)

Recycle your way round-the-world

7th September 2011

Andy Pag and Christina Ammon are set to return to the UK on Friday after spending two years driving round-the-world in a 'Biotruck'

The aptly-named 'Biotruck' which has travelled 30,000km over the past two years, has been running on cast-off cooking oil from kitchens across the globe.

The truck, which was salvaged from a scrapyard in 2009, has been furnished with an odd assortment of carpet left-overs, cupboard doors for worktops and kitchen drawers made of old shopping baskets.

Andy converted the engine to run on waste cooking oil, installing a filtering system and large tank under the bed, he said, “It’s an experiment to see if we could recycle our way around-the-world.

"I’m as surprised as anyone that we got around-the-world without putting any fossil fuel in the tank.”

However, finding waste vegetable oil wasn't the couple's only challenge along the way. The 22-year-old Mercedes bus constantly broke down, while Taliban fighters through southern Pakistan often attacked vehicles on the road.

Ammon said, “The breakdowns were the best bit. That’s when we met the most interesting, friendly people and had the unique sort of adventures and insights, which you can’t have travelling any other way.”

Pag was also arrested in India on suspicion of terrorism and was imprisoned in Ajmer Prison, holding the journey up for months.

When Pag was in prison, he wrote on his blog: But don’t be angry at this blog entry written from my rage at being imprisoned for a week and deprived of the money to fulfil the dream I worked hard to make possible. Instead be angry at the fact you have an incompetent police force and illiterate Military Intelligence officers who shouldn’t be put in charge of a train set let alone terrorist investigations. Alarmingly for you, these people are responsible for protecting you but have no clue how to use their resources effectively, missing the real terrorists and wasting the time of 150 officers to investigate someone who is clearly innocent. You can find out what happens and read the full entry here.

The recycling road trip was inspired by a desire to travel the world on a carbon budget. The couple said that travelling around-the-world using things that others have thrown away has convinced them that tackling consumption-culture is the key to reducing carbon emissions.

After a brief stop in the UK, the couple will head south through Europe to Africa. Early next year, they plan to tour schools and businesses to share their stories and lessons learned whilst on the road.

To keep up with the Biotruck and its Biotruckers, their blog can be found at biotruckexpedition.org

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