Last week brought some great news to a world that is facing a deluge of plastic waste. Scientists in Great Britain and America seem to have stumbled upon an enzyme that can actually ‘eat’ PET plastics. Though the ramifications of this are still unclear, early indications are that this may be a breakthrough in helping control the plastic that does not get recycled and ends up bloating landfills and finding its way into our oceans and other bodies of water.
It began in Japan, however, where scientists at a landfill first stumbled upon such a plastic-eating enzyme. In a stroke of luck, while studying this enzyme, the western scientists mutated this into an even more effective plastic-eating machine. By shooting it with x-ray beams, 10,000 times brighter than the sun, they were able to study the enzyme’s individual atoms, and manipulate them. The result was a more plastic-hungry enzyme. The whole thing sounds like it is out of a science fiction book, but it is very much for real. “Serendipity often plays a significant role in fundamental scientific research and our discovery here is no exception,” John McGeehan, a biology professor at the University of Portsmouth and one of the lead scientists on the research told the Huffington Post. “This unanticipated discovery suggests that there is room to further improve these enzymes, moving us closer to a recycling solution for the ever-growing mountain of discarded plastics.”
Though PET plastic is recyclable, only 7 percent of PET plastic bottles actually get recycled. This may be big news for the rest, which are thrown out, sometimes irresponsibly. All In Packaging is dedicated to the responsible use of plastics and their disposal. You need only search this blog to discover any number of ideas for repurposing your single-use plastic containers. Moreover, we have an outstanding surplus management program (of quality discount packaging). This important program aims to helping reduce plastic waste by offering surplus packaging to potential buyers. You can find more info here: https://qualitydiscountpackaging.co.
All in all, the world needed some good news when it came to plastic waste. Only time will tell if this enzyme solves the problem of plastic waste for the long term, but no matter what, it is a definite and positive step in the right direction.
Source: The Huffington Post
Picture source: https://www.dezeen.com/2018/04/20/plastic-eating-enzyme-petase-recycling-news/