Fungi may very well be the reply to breaking down plastic junk 

Aerial top drone view of a garbage pile

Enlarge (credit score: Anton Petrus)

Plastic is changing into a plague on Earth. Not solely are landfills bursting with it, however it has additionally polluted our oceans to the purpose {that a} tiny creature that had apparently made microplastics a part of its weight-reduction plan was named Eurythenes plasticus. Can we presumably maintain again the unfold of a cloth that piles up quicker than it may ever decay?

There may be a solution, and that reply is fungus. Researchers from the College of Kelaniya and the College of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka have found species of fungi that may break down polyethylene—the identical sort of plastic used for luggage, bottles, cling wrap, takeout containers, and extra. These fungi have one factor in widespread: They usually break down hardwood, which in any other case doesn’t decay rapidly. Whereas tons of of fungi and different microorganisms are identified to interrupt down numerous plastics, it was beforehand unknown that these specific hardwood-eating species may degrade polyethylene.

“Microbial biodegradation of plastics is a promising technique to depolymerize petroleum-based plastics into monomers or mineralize them into carbon dioxide and water,” the researchers stated in a examine just lately revealed in PLOS ONE.

Learn 9 remaining paragraphs | Feedback

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *