Plastic is an ever present in most of our lives. Sadly, the result is the presence of billions of tons of plastic wasted all over the planet – from the Arctic to the Mariana Trench. We don’t yet know the second and third order effects of all this waste – for example, what are the effects of plastic entering our food chain via animals and fish?
While such impact is hard to discern measure, it is highly likely not positive.
But, plastic is also an invaluable fixture in our daily lives. So, eliminating plastic is a near impossibility. And, even if we will hopefully make strides toward (significantly?) reducing plastic use over time, we also need to find a way to recycle plastic. This has proved to be really difficult in the past and researchers have been attacking the problem in earnest over the past two decades.
And, we have some good news along those lines – scientists in France have created a mutant bacterial enzyme that has managed to successfully break down 90% of PET bottles (think: soft drink bottles) and then use them create new-food grade plastic bottles. Their paper was published on the journal Nature recently – see here.
Carbios, the company that these scientists, founded is leading the charge here toward possibly enabling industrial scale recycling in 4-5 years. While that is most certainly 4-5 years later than I’d like, the fact that it is a possibility thanks to this breakthrough is very heartening.
(H/T: The Guardian for sharing this)