Finland – PNE — The burning issue of ocean litter may be a step closer to being solved with a little help from plastic-eating bugs.
The Finnish VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is developing microbes that degrade plastic as part of a project called PlastBug.
The project, according to Kari Koivuranta, principal scientist at VTT, will involve a mobile container unit where “microbes degrade plastic waste to valuable products like fuels or chemicals.”
Microbes, explained Koivuranta in a written statement to PNE, is will “eat” plastic in the process, using it as a carbon source like sugar.
“When a microbe is eating plastics, it can at the same time produce some products like ethanol. We can also modify microbes by using synthetic biology tools to make our wanted product. So, microbe are not just cleaving plastics into smaller pieces,” said the VTT scientist.
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