Scientists discovered bacteria that eat plastic bottles

Plastic are used everywhere - from water bottles to plastic bags. More and more are made and are filling up landfills as 90% aren't recycled every year although we know that they're not immediately biodegradable. So how long does it take for a plastic to decompose?

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A screenshot from the video.

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Japanese Scientists discovered a new bacteria that can eat plastic bottles

Different kinds of plastic can degrade at different times, but the average time for one plastic bottle to completely degrade is at least 450 to 1000 years! Whereas bottles made with Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) will never biodegrade. It is because the bacteria that transform biodegradable stuff such as wood, grass and food scraps turn away from plastic.

However, a team of Japanese scientists recently found a species of bacteria they called Ideonella sakainesis that eats the type of plastic found in most disposable water bottles. Although as of now, it takes the Ideonella sakainesis six weeks to degrade a thin film of plastic, they are still looking for ways to make be able to do this on a much bigger scale, say on a landfill full of PET bottles.

This is just the latest of research and breakthrough scientists have made regarding the biodegrading of plastic.

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