Plastic waste is a global problem now. Because plastics are useful from agricultural to industrial applications, we have taken advantages of them for economic efficiency. However, that action is not going with recycling plastic at the same time. For this reason, we have inadvertently caused our lives and our environment with great burdens. Indeed, with its flexibility, cheapness and ease of production, people only take a few seconds to produce 1 plastic bag. We use it for a few minutes and throw it in the trash for 1 second. Nevertheless, it takes thousands of years to decompose plastic into tiny pieces. Another example is quite typical when a diver discovered a plastic bag at Mariana Trench. Meanwhile this place is known as the deepest place on our planet.
There are some ways manufacturers use to reduce primary resin as well as
increase the capacity to recycle plastic. Particularly, they are switching to add calcium carbonate masterbatch and biodegradable plastic. However, these changes are not enough when plastic waste which has not been recycled – still remains outside. Hence, that’s why we need a new method to treat plastic waste faster to keep up with human needs.
This year, there are two scientists – Jenny Yao and Miranda Wang – might bring us a breath-taking solution. That is: they found out a bacterial can eat plastic. Actually, they have been developing this project together from the moment they were still students. Even though it is not a new method, at least it leads to our hope in future. This is perhaps not surprised for many people. Because some previous reports suggested that bacteria may be evolving to eat plastics by secreting new enzymes. In years, we worry the rapid evolution of bacteria and the slow progress of medicine becomes useless when preparing vaccines. But now, somehow we feel grateful for that evolution
However, it is not simple like throwing this bacterial into water and it will clean our ocean away from plastic. Indeed, this bacteria “produces” enzymes that speed up the chemical reaction. This activity will break polymer chains which is so tough and this is a main reason why plastics are so hard to decompose. Because its enzymes changes plastic structure from inside, so it leads to a change on surface as well.
With this fabulous research, these young scientists have already won 5 because their bacterial can turn plastic into water and CO2. Not only to make our beach clean and blue again, but also they produce clothes materials. They already have received finance of $400,000 to make their dream come true. Although people question if this bacterial is harmful for us, we cannot refuse the advantage it can bring us. Once again the science surprised us with the remarkable achievements that contributed to recycle plastic.
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