A substance capable of decomposing plastic was found

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 17.10.2021

All iLive content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable media sites, academic research institutions and, whenever possible, medically peer reviewed studies. Note that the numbers in parentheses ([1], [2], etc.) are clickable links to these studies.

If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please select it and press Ctrl + Enter.

12 November 2018, 09:00

Scientists from the UK have completed the development of a new enzyme substance that promotes the decomposition of certain types of plastic.

Approximately two years ago, on one of the Japanese landfills specialists discovered special microbes that can literally "eat" plastic. And this happens several thousand times faster than under natural conditions.

Two years the researchers spent on what to synthesize the enzyme structure. As a result, the resulting substance can absorb one of the most common types of plastic - PET (polyethylene terephthalate).

Doctor of Biology John McGihan, representing the University of Portsmouth (United Kingdom), notes that the results of this work allow us to hope for an early solution to the problem with the ever-increasing amount of non-recycled plastic waste.

A new enzyme substance can accelerate the processing of plastic debris by about 20%. Perhaps it is not as fast as we would like. But scientists are not going to stop there and will move on, improving their discovery. At least now they understand in what direction the solution of the problem should be sought.

According to statistics, every year the "stocks" of plastic in the world's oceans are replenished with 8 million plastic waste. If this process is not stopped, then in 30 years the ocean will be filled with plastic in a larger volume, rather than fish.

Scientists from the United Kingdom have long been working on solving this problem. Not so long ago, a special Seabin apparatus was installed in the port of Portsmouth, capable of "sucking" out of the ocean various garbage, including plastic and bottled oil products. Created by scientists the device was called a "trash can": it consists of a pumping station, a large mesh catcher from fiber, and a docking station. The main function of the device is to collect waste of different sizes. The minimum particle, capable of getting into the network of the device is 2 mm. The operation of the device is as follows: the pump unit increases the flow that draws all the waterfill into the huge container - for example, cellophane, plastic bottles, disposable dishes, packaging, etc. For one day, the device is able to "suck" a half kilogram of waste, and in 12 months this the figure is about 500 kg of garbage, which is equivalent to 20 thousand plastic bottles or 83 thousand cellophane bags.

The issue of recycling waste that clutters the world's ocean is as relevant as ever. Garbage pollutes the atmosphere, world waters, causes irreparable damage to marine life. Scientists sound alarm: plastic has a mechanical and physical negative impact on fish, secretes toxic substances, which then turn out to be in water and in human food.

Discoveries of British scientists are described in the pages of Realist.online.

trusted-source[1], [2], [3], [4]

Translation Disclaimer: The original language of this article is Russian. For the convenience of users of the iLive portal who do not speak Russian, this article has been translated into the current language, but has not yet been verified by a native speaker who has the necessary qualifications for this. In this regard, we warn you that the translation of this article may be incorrect, may contain lexical, syntactic and grammatical errors.

You are reporting a typo in the following text:
Simply click the "Send typo report" button to complete the report. You can also include a comment.