ARLINGTON COUNTY, VIRGINIA — The United States Department of Defense is issuing a call to contractors to develop biodegradable bullets for military training exercises.
The U.S. Army runs through thousands upon thousands of ammunition rounds every year. The bullets currently being used take hundreds of years to break down, while also corroding and polluting the planet’s soil and water sources.
The DoD’s new proposal would see specialized seeds encased in the bullets, designed to grow plants that eliminate ammunition debris and contaminants. The seeds would begin to sprout long after landing in the ground, and would eventually become a source of food for animals, too.
Through the Small Business Innovation Research agency, the Department of Defense is accepting applications until February 8. They are looking for ammunition designs for 40 to 120 mm training rounds that perform on the same level as bullets being used today. Applications will also need to include potential ways the technology provides benefits, in addition to defensive capabilities.