The amount of plastic waste in U.S. landfills could theoretically replace nearly five days' worth of U.S. oil consumption if converted to fuel oil, according to a report commissioned by the American Chemistry Council. "Landfilling of [nonrecycled plastics] constitutes a loss of a valuable energy resource," the report said. "Capturing the energy value of nonrecycled plastics -- and municipal solid waste in general -- makes good sense because it provides a good domestic form of energy while minimizing impacts on the environment," said Marco Castaldi, associate director at the Earth Engineering Center at Columbia University, which conducted the research.

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