A New Bacterium Could Break Down PET Plastic to Eliminate Waste

By: Michael Hemsworth - Mar 11, 2016
References: science.sciencemag.org & gizmag
According to sources, the level of plastic in the oceans is reaching epidemic proportions, so a new bacterium that can break down PET plastic has been found that could offer a solution.

Unearthed by a team of researchers at the Kyoto Institute of Technology, the bacterium was placed in a jar with PET plastic and allowed to sit. Within just weeks, the plastic was found broken down into two basic materials including terephthalic acid and ethylene glycol; two harmless materials.

The bacterium, named Ideonella sakaiensis by the team, could offer a solution to how plastics could be recycled or eliminated in the future. As we look for ways to reduce, the new enzyme could offer a solution for recycling plants.