Home Science Enzyme eats plastic 6 times faster: Significant leap forward in pollution crisis

Enzyme eats plastic 6 times faster: Significant leap forward in pollution crisis

Enzyme eats plastic 6 times faster: Significant leap forward in pollution crisis

A group of scientists has created a “super-enzyme” that could, they hope, help to solve the world’s plastic problems.

The super-enzyme that eats plastic could be “a significant leap forward” in finding solutions to tackle the pollution crisis, scientists hope.

The enzyme is derived from bacteria that evolved the ability to eat plastic.

“Unlike natural degradation, which can take hundreds of years, the super-enzyme is able to convert the plastic back to its original materials, or building blocks, in just a few days,” said Professor John McGeehan, director of the Centre for Enzyme Innovation (CEI) at the University of Portsmouth.

According to a study, the amount of plastic waste flowing into the ocean and killing marine life could triple in the next 20 years, unless companies and governments can drastically reduce plastic production.

China is the top source of plastic bottles, bags and other rubbish clogging up global sea lanes, according to the latest country-wise data available.

Around the world, one million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute, while up to 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are used worldwide every year. In total, half of all plastic produced is designed to be used only once — and then thrown away.

(With inputs from agencies)

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