Could A New Plastic Eating Bacteria Erase Plastic Pollution?

I may not believe in anthropogenic climate change, but I have always been an environmentalist. I despise pollution, and plastic pollution is a serious issue. The obvious way to deal with it is to stop polluting. Stop throwing plastics out in the street, if you will. Here’s a more realistic solution, because, let’s face it, some people are, well, let’s call them assholes

(CNN) Scientists in Japan have discovered a strain of bacteria that can eat plastic, a finding that might help solve the world’s fast-growing plastic pollution problem.

The species fully breaks down one of the most common kinds of plastic called Polyethylene terephthalate (PET). It’s the type often used to package bottled drinks, cosmetics and household cleaners.

The findings, published in the academic journal ‘Science‘ on Friday, say that “Ideonella sakaiensisbreaks down the plastic by using two enzymes to hydrolyze PET and a primary reaction intermediate, eventually yielding basic building blocks for growth.”

This could be really good news for the environment. Almost a third of all plastic packaging escapes collection systems and ends up in nature or clogging up infrastructure, the World Economic Forum (WEF) warned.

Sounds promising. Of course, this brings to mind a question: could these bacteria, if deployed throughout the world, cause an unintended problem?

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3 Responses to “Could A New Plastic Eating Bacteria Erase Plastic Pollution?”

  1. Rob says:

    Now we know where The Blob comes from. Heh. It seemed like a good idea at the time…. that is…. until it attacked our drive-in theater! Heh

  2. Let’s view plastic eating bacteria as the menace it really is…to Cher!
    Join my organization: Hollywood Starlets Against Plastic Eating Bacteria.

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