May 23, 2021•134 words
Interesting share. Reading time: 1 min
Read this article today, after this topic came up while chatting: A bacterium that degrades and assimilates poly(ethylene terephthalate)
Ideonella sakaiensis is a bacteria newly identified in 2016, found in polyethylene terephthalate (PET, a plastic)-contaminated sediment.
It is capable of specifically breaking down PET plastic via an its PET hydrolase (also PETase) enzyme to be eventually taken up and 'consumed' by itself and other bacteria to acquire carbon to produce organic molecules to sustain life.
Interesting. Nature is evolving a solution for organisms to digest our garbage.
Plastic is a magical material with amazing properties... It's only been around for just over a century. Probably not the best to frame it as 'garbage', although excessive production of plastic around the world has resulted in plastic becoming garbage.