Authorization

Plastic-eating fungus could help fight against waste

A fungus that can "eat" plastic in weeks rather than years could help fight the growing plastic waste problem, according to a report by Kew Gardens.
It can take decades or sometimes hundreds of years for some plastics to properly degrade.But a study on a waste site in Islamabad, Pakistan, isolated a fungus in the soil that quickly broke down chemical bonds.It took just two months for the fungi - Aspergillus tubingensis - to biodegrade a type of plastic called polyester polyurethane (PU) into smaller pieces.PU is used in products such as fridge insulation and synthetic leather.
Plastic-eating fungus could help fight against waste

2:26
Video:
How hi-tech floater clears plastic
The Pakistan study suggests fungi could be "developed into one of the tools desperately needed to address the growing environmental problem of plastic waste", says the Kew report.Fungi digests its food by secreting enzymes and absorbing the dissolved organic matter back into cells.
The first-ever State of the World's Fungi report highlights the important role they can play in helping clean up the environment.Fungi can also feed on pollutants such as oil spills, toxic chemicals like sarin nerve gas and TNT, and even radioactive waste.
Plastic-eating fungus could help fight against waste

0:48
Video:
New plastic bottle biodegrades in three weeks
Mushrooms are the most widely known fungi, but they can also be microscopic, single-celled yeasts that cannot be seen with the naked eye.Around 2,000 species are still being classified each year, say experts, and an estimated 93% of fungal species are still unknown to science.
More from Sky Ocean Rescue

Inventor defends use of giant pollution scooper


Kia Oval scheme has stopped six tons of plastic going to landfill


Carlsberg to replace plastic ring can holders with recyclable glue


Plastic bag charge could double under government plans to tackle ocean waste


Interactive map reveals Scottish coastline's litter hotspots


#2minutebeachclean campaign reducing waste on the country's beaches

More than 100 scientists from more than 18 countries contributed to the report by Kew's Royal Botanic Gardens, which says "fungi rarely get the attention they deserve".:: Sky Ocean Rescue aims to help everyone make simple everyday changes to stop the world's oceans drowning in plastic. To find out more about the issues affecting our oceans and how to #PassOnPlastic visit skyoceanrescue.com.
news.sky.com
See also:
Leave a comment
News
  • Latest
  • Read
  • Commented
Calendar Content
«    Сентябрь 2018    »
ПнВтСрЧтПтСбВс
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930