Plastic waste in the environment is a significant threat due to its resistance to biological processes. Here we report the ability of fungal strains found on floating plastic debris to degrade plastics. In particular, we wanted to know which fungi grow on plastic debris floating in the shoreline, whether these fungi have the ability to degrade plastics, whether the plastic-degrading fungi can degrade other complex C-polymers such as lignin, and whether lignin-degraders vice versa can also break down plastics.
Overall, it seems that in majority only a few litter-saprotrophic fungi, which possess a wide variety of enzymes, have the ability to degrade polyurethane. None of the fungi tested was able to degrade polyethylene.