A recent publication in the journal Science has led scientists to believe we might have come full circle in the plastic conundrum: first developing a material that cannot biodegrade, then developing a way to enable it. The starting point? The discovery of a plastic-eating bacteria. The bacteria eats the polymer PET which the majority of plastic bottles are made from.
Nature has begun to fight back against the vast piles of filth dumped into its soils, rivers and oceans by evolving a plastic-eating bacteria – the first known to science. In a report published in the journal Science, a team of Japanese researchers described a species of bacteria that can break the molecular bonds of one of the world’s most-used plastics – polyethylene terephthalate, also known as PET or polyester.