Soldiers Set Sights on Biodegradable Bullets

We’re all aware that a bullet can kill. But did you know that a bullet can also decompose in the ground and sprout new life? Well, that’s the plan anyways.

Let me back up a bit. Before now, can you say that you thought about the environmental impact of bullet casings? I definitely hadn’t. With all of the conflict that’s been rising between countries, it seems there were other things to be worried about! And while we’ve heard the solemn stories of death and destruction from all over, it wasn’t until I read this article that I realized there was something else going on.

Now first of all, this makes sense to me. It makes sense that these casings are scattered all over fields, cities and training camps. Who is going to take the time to clean all of these up, especially if they’re lying in the middle of a war zone?

But in reality, there are millions of these casings just wasting away, while their chemicals rust and pollute the soil and groundwater where they lay. So not only can these bullets be physically harmful, they can also have serious repercussions for the animals and environments around them. See the problem? Fortunately, the Department of Defense has been on this issue for a while and they’re looking for the perfect solution.113shutterstock_488728615-959x640

So, what is it?

The Department of Defense is asking for groups to submit proposals, with ideas for a biodegradable bullet. Essentially, the idea is to find the perfect prototype of a bullet that is packed with specialized seeds, which have the ability to eliminate ammunition debris and contaminants.

At this point, it’s been suggested that the bullets be made from a similar material to recyclable water bottles and containers; however, whoever can create the most eco-friendly material will likely take the cake. Live Science has reported that some prototypes have already been in the making, with one of the designs germinating only after they’ve been in the soil for several months.

And we’re not talking tiny bullets here, either. Some of the smaller casings they’re looking for are approximately 40mm (about the size of a grenade), to 120mm casings that are used for tanks. The cool thing is, it’s been reported that the shells will be able to clean the soil and even feed animals without any ill effects. The proposals are being solicited until February 8th, when one will be chosen to go into a 3-phase process of developing and administering.

Sometimes, it’s hard to look at the big picture when the media is highlighting certain factors of events going on in our world. However, the advancements we’ve had in technology are not overlooking the aftermath of these events and what they mean for our planet. I think it’s very cool that these individuals have been spreading their concern about the lasting effects of bullet casings and that there is actually something being done!

So far, it seems that 2017 is off to a good start. While I was pumped up about new tech toys coming to shelves last week, these kinds of creations often remind us that technology can be a whole lot more life-changing then just giving us Candy Crush and a better phone lens.


What do you think of this topic? What would you use to create a biodegradable bullet?

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