Super enzyme that eats plastic, now 6 times faster

I have written in the past, about a discovery made on a Japanese dump back in 2016 of a plastic eating enzyme. By working in the lab, scientists have been able to speed this process up 6 times, such that full recycling is thought to be possible of plastics within 2 years.

Could the days of sites like this – legal or otherwise, potentially become a thing of the past?

It is also thought that by combining this enzyme with one that eats cotton, it may be possible to break down mixed fabrics. These are increasingly a problem as so much of these artificial threads find there way into the sea, and then into the food chain.

The new enzyme was created by combining 2 different enzymes that were both found in the Japanese dump. Even more exciting is that these enzymes work well at room temperature, meaning we do not even need to add extra energy. Further tweaks may mean this process can speed up even further.

This holds much potential, as if plastic can become as useful to manufacturers for building new items, as oil it finally puts a significant price on waste plastic, which means there is no point in letting it sit in a rubbish dump.

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