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Plastic Eating Bacteria – microorganisms in the fight against pollution

Plastic waste is a huge problem because we rely on the material for many, many things. Not just grocery bags and packaging either. Medical equipment, tech devices, inexpensive textiles, etc. The list is really endless. One day we may be able to dispose of plastic the same way we do food waste, with bacteria. Plastic eating bacteria isn’t here yet but it’s looking better and better for our future.

There are two big issues with this science. One is making sure the bacteria only chomps on what it’s supposed to, namely waste. We don’t don’t want them eating life rafts or the coatings on wires. The other is how fast it breaks down these plastics.

The current idea is for them to chomp on plastics to sort of refine them so that the left overs can be used to make stronger materials. Like a bacteria assisted recycling. The process is still in its early stages and there’s a quite a bit more work to do but one day in the future you may get a compost heap just for your plastic trash.

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