Scientists invent enzyme that can break down plastic waste in ‘hours instead of centuries’

Recycling process could revolutionise how big industry reuses materials, reports Jane Dalton

Wednesday 27 April 2022 18:00
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<p>Around 10 billion tonnes of plastic have been produced in the world </p>

Around 10 billion tonnes of plastic have been produced in the world

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Scientists have invented an enzyme variant they say can break down plastic waste in just hours or days instead of centuries.

They say the discovery could supercharge recycling on such a scale that it would revolutionise how big industry reuses plastics that currently pollute the environment, destroying wildlife and marine life, and ending up in human bodies.

Earlier this year, experts reported that the threat from plastic pollution is almost equivalent to climate change, saying the overproduction of plastics threatens the planet’s basic ability to maintain a habitable environment.

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