1 June, 2022
When it comes to the environment, plastic is a scourge making up 12% of global waste. Engineers and scientists at The University of Texas in Austin have found a solution in the form of an enzyme variant which can consume plastics (that typically take centuries to degrade) in just a matter of hours to days.
The new process sees plastics fully broken down to small organic molecules in as little as 24 hours. With the enzyme being effective at low temperatures, it’s suitable for a variety of uses. Researchers are now focussing on larger scale enzyme production for industrial and environmental applications. The production of these enzymes will be central to landfill cleanup initiatives, the greening of high waste-producing industries, and even environmental remediation.