April 16, 2022
Important steps are being taken by scientists to develop nature-based solutions that will help in dealing with the plastic crisis that the world is facing. In 2018, natural enzymes called PETase and MHETase were engineered by scientists that were able to break down polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic into its chemical building blocks, terephthalate (TPA) and ethylene glycol (EG). Now scientists have developed a new enzyme called TPADO, which further breaks down TPA with greater efficiency. Simple molecules that are left behind can be reused in new products. PET is used to make single-use products such as drink bottles, carpets and shampoo containers.
Did You Know?
Plastic takes between 100 and 500 years to decompose.