It’s almost like it was meant to happen – in April this year, news reports broke out that scientists had created an enzyme that can eat through plastic, all of this by accident. In 2016, a bacterium was discovered at a waste dump in Japan which had evolved to eat plastic. Naturally, scientists had to take a look at the enzyme and they inadvertently made it even better.
“What actually turned out was we improved the enzyme, which was a bit of a shock,” said Prof John McGeehan, at the University of Portsmouth, UK, who led the research to The Guardian. “It’s great and a real finding.”
“What we are hoping to do is use this enzyme to turn this plastic back into its original components, so we can literally recycle it back to plastic,” McGeehan added. “It means we won’t need to dig up any more oil and, fundamentally, it should reduce the amount of plastic in the environment.”
Actress Sonam Kapoor also tweeted regarding the discovery: