New research eats through plastic waste – USA

New research eats through plastic waste – USA

Posted on May 3, 2022 by DrRossH in Plastic Waste News


Scientists in Texas are working on a variant of an enzyme that can break down plastic in mere days. The discovery of this enzyme by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin could help with environmental pollution by converting plastics waste into usable material, thus helping to clear out packed landfills and oceanic waste.

The enzymatic process is a circular one and focuses on breaking down polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic to its constituent parts and then putting them back together again into new material. Some plastics were broken down using the enzyme in only 24 hours, compared to the many hundreds of days it would take without the enzyme, which the researchers are calling FAST-PETase (functional, active, stable and tolerant PETase).

This could help in the disposal of residual plastic waste that is inevitably going to be around on considerable amounts for many years to come.  Biogone is pushing this too as they know a circular economy is not going to be fully circular and other responsible disposal means are going to be necessary.