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Scientists Have Accidentally Created a Mutant Enzyme That Eats Plastic Waste






Scientists accidentally invented an enzyme that can break down plastic bottles and is seen to possibly be the cure for the pollution problem.

Professor John McGeehan from the University of Portsmouh, UK leads the research to see the evolution of the enzyme.


The mutated enzyme can break down the plastic bottles in just a matter of days, and what scientist hopes for is that the enzyme can recycle plastics back to its original form which is plastic.

All around the world, per minute there are 1 million plastic bottles sold, and 14 percent only are being recycled. The rest are thrown into the vast ocean.

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal uses Diamond Light Source in the UK to determine the mechanics of the enzyme. During the experiment, a scientist accidentally developed the enzymes capability to eat PET (polyethylene terephthalate).


Researchers from Portsmouth and from the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado had filed a patent for the plastic-eating enzyme.

Scientists are exploring the transplant of the mutated enzymes to an “extremophile bacteria” that has the ability to withstand 70 degrees Celsius above temperature.

Chemist Oliver Jones from the RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia stated that the new research about PET eating enzyme has the potential to resolve waste issues.

Though there is still a long way to go before the enzymes are produced in mass numbers, it is indeed a great hope that plastic wastes can be recycled back to plastic.



In the UK, from the University of Manchester, Professor Adisa Azapagic stated that the full life cycle of plastic is beneficial, but there is also a need to be careful because technology may solve one environmental issue but sacrifice more problems, like the possible greenhouse emissions.

Scientists Have Accidentally Created a Mutant Enzyme That Eats Plastic Waste Scientists Have Accidentally Created a Mutant Enzyme That Eats Plastic Waste Reviewed by Tim on April 25, 2018 Rating: 5

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