It will help humanity to cope with the waste of polyurethane.
A group of scientists from three German research institutes have discovered a type of bacteria, which will help humanity to cope with the waste of polyurethane – one of the most refractory types of plastic, according to the site euro-pulse.ru.
Previously unknown species of bacteria Pseudomonas sp found at the dump, where there were a lot of polyurethane products. These bacteria attack the chemical bonds that hold the molecules of the polyurethane together, and use these connections to develop vital energy.
Examining genetic material of bacteria, the researchers came to the conclusion that this type has appeared recently: apparently, the bacteria have evolved by “learning” to eat plastic.
The polyurethane used for the manufacture of footwear, some types of synthetic fabrics, wheels for roller skates and other products. Unlike many other types of plastics it does not melt when heated, so now it is not processed, and discarded things from him sent to a landfill.
This is not the first time that scientists find “natural enemies” of plastic material, accelerating its decomposition in nature. A few years ago, scientists from Japan discovered the enzyme which destroys the PET type of plastic used for making bottles.
The German scientists note that these findings do not solve the widespread problem of plastic pollution. The EU annually produces 60 million tons of plastic, of which there are processed 30%. The use of bacteria in industrial scale is not yet tested, and the process of “digesting” plastic bacteria in any case will take a long time.
The European Union is struggling with excessive use of plastic: by 2030 it is planned to recycle more than half of all plastic waste; now from shops in the EU lost of disposable plastic products that can be replaced by more environmentally friendly alternatives – the decision was made last year