Scientists Finally Discovered a Bacteria That Will Eat Old Plastic
The scientists from Kyoto University went looking in trash heaps for bacteria that might be evolving toward eating plastic, and they found just that. DubbedIdeonella sakaiensis, this microorganism produces an enzyme that allows it to decompose PET plastic, one of the most common forms of plastic. When provided with some plastic and a warm environment, the bacteria was able to completely consume it in a few weeks.
The newly discovered bacteria might allow us to actually break down used plastic into the chemical components, making for the first truly recyclable plastic. The enzyme has been identified, so we might even be able to produce it on an industrial scale to mix with used plastic. Humanity could finally start cleaning up after itself.