Several million tonnes of plastic are estimated to be thrown into the trash per year! The problem is tragically large, but hopeful news are “coming” from Japan.
Scientists from Japanese research centers have managed to isolate a bacterium called “Ideonella sakaiensis”, which “eats” plastic and uses it as a source of maintenance and growth. Indeed, as stated in the conclusions of the study, this bacterium has a particular preference for PET or otherwise polyethylene terephthalate, the most widespread plastic material on the planet.
It is worth noting, that each year around 50 million tonnes of PET are produced, mainly used for the production of plastic bottles, but also for the manufacture of labels, batteries, tubes and plastic membranes.
Chemically, this is a plastic that is extremely resistant to the process of biodegradation.