New enzyme discovery could slash plastic waste, study finds

New enzyme discovery could slash plastic waste, study finds

New enzyme discovery could slash plastic waste, study finds

The enzyme has been developed to accelerate the transition to a circular economy, and will reportedly enable plastic packaging to be recycled and re-used more efficiently.

Developed by French green chemistry firm Carbios, the method involves applying a liquid mixture of enzymes to used PET plastics and polyester fibres.

Carbios has a deal with the biotechnology company Novozymes to produce the new enzyme at scale using fungi.

The enyzme can break down PET plastic bottles into their individual chemical composites, which could later be reused to make brand new bottles. "This highly efficient, optimized enzyme performs better than all PET hydrolases ever reported", the article published in the journal Nature.

Billions of tonnes of plastic waste have contaminated the world, from the Arctic to the inmost sea trench, and also position a specific threat to sea life.

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The solution holds particular promise for coloured, opaque and multilayered PET plastic products, which it claims are hard to recycle via traditional methods as they degrade rapidly, meaning they often end up incinerated or landfilled after only a few cycles.

Carbios partnered with major industry leaders including Pepsi and L'Oreal to help develop the technology.

The team's hope is to have their method of recycling up to industry-scale levels within five years. Independent experts call the new enzyme a huge advance. It stated the expense of the enzyme was simply 4% of the expense of virgin plastic made from oil. "But we all know that plastic brings a lot of value to society, in food, medical care, transportation". Increasing the collection of plastic waste was key, Stephan said, with about half of all plastic ending up in the environment or in landfill. These can then be used to produce PET plastics equivalent to virgin ones, such as bottles and packaging. Campaigners say reducing the use of plastic is key, but the company said the strong, lightweight material was very useful and that true recycling was part of the solution.

Scientists are additionally making progression in searching for organic means to damage down various other significant kinds ofplastic In March, German scientists exposed an insect that delight in hazardous polyurethane, while earlier job has actually revealed that wax moth larvae- typically reproduced as fish lure- can consume polythene bags.

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