New ‘Super Enzyme’ Eats through Plastic in Days

Scientists who created an enzyme that eats plastic have modified it, making it a “super enzyme.”

Researchers at the Centre for Enzyme Innovation say the re-engineered enzyme can break down things like plastic water bottles, straws, bags, carpet, and other thermoplastics in a matter of days. Left on their own in a landfill, these items take several years to biodegrade.

Director John McGeehan says the enzyme could reduce plastic pollution tenfold. “We were actually quite surprised it worked so well,” McGeehan says. “We’re looking at huge energy savings.”

Does this mean we can shop with plastic bags and not feel guilty about it? Is its damage to the environment the only bad thing about plastic?

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