BREAKING: Fantastic Plastic Eating Bacteria Discovered. Bacteria Found That Lives on Polyethylene In A Garbage Dump! A Major Breakthrough?Could this Break Through lead to a solution for getting rid of plastic? It’s possible because scientists have found a bacteria outside a bottle-recycling facility that can amazingly enough – break down and metabolize plastic. The new species named – Ideonella sakaiensis – breaks down the plastic by using two enzymes to hydrolyze PET and a primary reaction intermediate. The study shows how the biodegradation of plastics by specialized bacteria could be a viable bioremediation strategy which is important with the rampant proliferation of plastics in consumer products, from bottles to clothing, has resulted in the release of countless tons of plastics into the environment especially the ocean.
There’s an estimated 311 million tons of plastic produced every year across the world. There will be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050, it’s probably in our food, which is extremely alraming. Polyethylene terephthalate (known as PET), which is used for manufacturing plastic bottles, makes up one fifth of the annual production of plastic. PET’s strength and stability under heat makes it an ideal material for packaging—but it’s properties also makes PET difficult to decompose .
The team at Kyoto University spent five digging through piles of waste before isolating a bacteria that could live on poly (ethylene terephthalate) (PET), a common plastic used in bottles and clothing. This could revolution plastic recycling and decontamination. Despite what most people think plastic bottles are not truly recycled; rather they are melted and reformed into other hard plastic products. One of the insurmountable problems facing the world is that packaging companies typically prefer freshly made ‘first time or pure’ plastics that are created from chemicals derived primarilly from oil.
It is hope that the Ideonella sakaiensis with PET-digesting enzymes offer an innovation way recycle plastic.