Plastic Eating Enzymes

Enzymes are things that we usually know exist within our bodies. We know there are some good ones and bad ones and even those that exist in yogurts. However, a type of enzyme has been found that could help us with the current environmental crisis the world is going through. With the snowcaps melting and the weather becoming worse every day, these enzymes could be a ray of hope for us.

Researchers that work in a company called Carbios have developed a mutant bacterial enzyme that can break down plastic in a few hours. The enzyme has been designed in a way that it can break down PET plastic bottles into their individual chemical components, which in turn can be used to create new bottles.

When we talk about traditionally recycled plastic, it is usually very low quality and is used for clothes or carpets and not for plastic bottles. This means plastic bottles need to be recreated from plastic which means horrible things for global warming. So, this bacteria could be incredibly helpful because it will enable old plastic to be used for the construction of other plastic bottles hence leading to less overall production in plastic.

The company has now partnered with famous companies like Pepsi and L’Oreal to take its mission forward and develop the technology.

The specific amount of time that has been given for plastics breaking down using this enzyme is around 10 hours. Many may wonder why such an enzyme hasn’t been discovered before? Interestingly, it had but was completely forgotten about until the people at Carbios began to experiment with it. It has been providing excellent results.

The goal for the company is to be up and running on a large industrial scale by 2024 – 2025, and help reduce plastic production within the world by doing so. The testing phase of the product still has not taken place but is planned to be tested in France in 2021.

Researchers believe the enzyme is extremely cost effective especially on an industrial scale. The cost of making new plastic from oil will be about 25 times more than the reproduction of plastic from the individual components produced through this enzyme.

Not only will the enzyme help reduce the production of plastic, it will also lower costs to consumers, encourage the practice of recycling much more, but ultimately benefit the planet.

Published by


Futuristic Sci Fi writer.

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