[Image: Courtesy of Paul's Grenade Page]
Elisabeth Hochschorner, a scientist at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has produced, with her colleagues, a study which details the deep environmental damage incurred by the proliferation of grenades. Interestingly, it is not their use on the battlefield or the detonation of them on the earth's surface which ranks as the most threatening factor, it is the unscrupulous mining of metals and the energy which goes into manufacturing grenades that causes the most harm to the landscape. So, ironically the brunt of the damage has been done deep beneath the earth's skin long before millions of pins have been pulled or any of them have ever even hit the ground.
"The Swedish study, soon to be published in The Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology ( DOI 10.1002/jctb.0274), used a method called ‘life cycle assessment’ (LCA) which has never been applied to munitions before," the Innovations Report finds. Their study does include proposals for mitigation of mining devastation, and even suggests using certain plastics in place of copper.
Though, it all goes back again to figuring how military weapons can find new purpose through humanitarian application. That is to say, while this study may lead to the greener harvesting of grenades, it won't help lead to a cessation of their production. So, how then may the next generation of environmentally-sensitive grenades be taken a step further and turned into something ultimately anti-war, like, perhaps, mini-Tree Bombs or something?