As you well know, bullets are designed to kill people. So far, so bad, but the metallic compounds in them also tend to leach into the environment and kill off plants and wildlife too.
At training facilities the world over, the US Army uses live ammunition to gear up their soldiers for combat. These bullets just remain in the wild, and do their damage. Deciding that enough is enough, officials are now asking for proposals to design biodegradable bullets that shall harm the environment no more.
Not only that, but they are hoping that the bullets will contain seeds, specialized for each local environment, so that they will ultimately “grow environmentally beneficial plants that eliminate ammunition debris and contaminants.”
That’s right – not only will new plants sprout from these seed bullets, but they will help suck out dangerous chemicals from their surrounding environment. It’s certainly an ambitious concept, but not one outside of the realms of possibility. According to the official request, this type of bullet “shell” has already been tested.
“The US Army Corps of Engineers' Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) has demonstrated bioengineered seeds that can be embedded into the biodegradable composites and that will not germinate until they have been in the ground for several months,” it states.
Now they just need to be made into bullets that can be fired from a real weapon.
Proposals are being considered until February 8, whereupon a winner will be asked to produce their biodegradable bullets for testing. As has been pointed out, these bullets are actually quite large, ranging from 40 mm varieties (essentially grenades) to 120 mm mortar and tank rounds, and even 155 mm artillery rounds.
If this idea takes off, then expect to be seeing people use assault rifles to plant crops across the States. It’s a better idea than using them to cook bacon, that’s for sure.