AWARD YEAR
2021
CATEGORY
Community
GOALS
Responsible Consumption & Production, Climate Action, Life Below Water
KEYWORDS
Plastic, bacteria, biodesign, Plastic pollution
COUNTRY
United States of America
DESIGNED BY
Hitachi & Cambridge Consultants
WEBSITE
https://www.fastcompany.com/90412215/could-this-plastic-eating-enzyme-be-the-miracle-solution-to-our
PETase
The plastic-eating enzyme
Researchers from Hitachi and Cambridge Consultants plan to use synthetic biology to manufacture a plastic-eating enzyme, similar to an organism in nature that can eat plastic. This can potentially be used in recycling plants, in the environment or even in the ocean, where as much as 12.7 million metric tons of plastic ends up every year. Maybe the use biology of biology can help to break down some of the billions of tons of plastic currently in landfills and the environment, where it can take hundreds of years or longer to fully break down. In 2017, a study estimated that of the 8.3 billion tons of plastic that humans had produced since the material was invented, around 6.3 billion tons ended up as waste; only 9% was recycled.