The U.S. Military is reportedly looking for a company to help them plant trees and vegetation with bullets.
They are hoping that they can develop ammunition that contains “specialized seeds” which will be able to grow “environmentally beneficial” plants once they become embedded in the earth after being fired during training.
Current ammunition doesn't biodegrade for months and when it eventually does, poisonous substances released from the decaying bullets can contaminate the earth and water in the surrounding areas.
So now the US military is looking to tackle the issue by developing explosive seedlings which sprout into plants once fired.
A report from the US Department of Defence has said:
“Currently the US Army manufactures and consumes hundreds of thousands of training rounds.”
“Some of these rounds might have the potential corrode and pollute the soil and nearby water. The solution sought by this topic is naturally occurring biodegradable material to replace the current training round materials, eliminating environmental hazards.”
This new "eco-friendly" ammunition would be used during training exercises.
Lethal 40mm grenades, 120 mm morters and shoulder launched muntions are just a few of the different types of ammunition which will be transformed into these 'seed bombs'.
The development of the new ammunition is already making progress, as the U.S. Arm's Engeneering Branch (CRREL) has created seeds that will not sprout until the materials containing them have biodegraded.
Testing for the new bullets will be rigorous: any company looking to develop the new bullets further will be subject to the three-phase SBIR testing process before these 'sprouting bullets' can become a reality.
The new ammunition would lead to less contamination whilst introducing new plant life to the training area.