The US Army Is Looking For Biodegradable Ammo That Sprout Plants


The US Army Is Looking For Biodegradable Ammo That Sprout Plants

Not many people can now say that we humans don’t have a tremendously negative impact on the environment if even the US Army is looking into ways to make their bullets biodegradable. Because not only are bullets dangerous to people’s lives, but they’re also a danger to the environment as well.

The problem here is that these bullets contain various metals and chemicals which pollute the soil as well as the ground water. And since it’s almost impossible to clean them up, they are just left there.

This is why the Department of Defence is soliciting proposals in how to make their ammunition biodegradable, as well as to contain seeds which will sprout plants capable of sucking up and eliminating those chemicals from the soil. Some materials which could be used here may include various plastics used today to make plastic bottles or containers, among others.

It turns out that the US Army Corps of Engineers’ Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory has already looked into and tested some seeds that can be used for this ammunition. Seeds which can be embedded in biodegradable composite and would germinate only after a few months the shots are fired.

To be fair, though, the Army is interested in using these bullets in their training facilities and not in actual combat. And while we say “bullets”, we’re actually talking about rounds from 40 to 120 mm. And while the 40 mm rounds are, more or less, grenades, the 120 mm ones are used by tanks. The US Army placed a special emphasis on the fact that these prototype rounds and the plants within them should be able to remove all sorts of soil contaminants, as well as feed local wildlife without any ill effects on the animals themselves.


40 mm rounds – image via