Keep on trucking

Is it possible to drive around the world on rubbish? Andy Pag has been trying to find out since he embarked on his worldwide, waste-powered journey over two years ago. Libby Peake caught up with him on his stopover in London

In 2007, while travelling through Mali, Andy Pag had an epiphany. An overland expedition enthusiast and former journalist, Pag observed that the Malians were completely at the mercy of diesel prices and decided: “I didn’t want to carry on driving round the world exploring it unless I could do it sustainably... It would be so ridiculous to explore the world and try and understand it if you’re polluting it, creating carbon emissions that are helping destroy it.”

Prior to 2007, Pag admits, he’d had no particular interest in the environment, but his revelation has resulted in several increasingly high-profile expeditions highlighting environmental issues. That year, Pag drove a lorry powered by cocoa factory waste to Timbuktu, and in 2008, he organised the ‘Grease to Greece’ rally, which saw 10 cars drive from London to Athens on scavenged used cooking oil. It was during this journey that Pag was inspired to embark on his current, worldwide expedition: “I thought ‘Well, we’ve made it this far and we could quite easily go to Istanbul and make it to Asia and I wonder if we could go beyond.’”