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Thread: These tiny microbes are munching away at plastic waste in the ocean

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    Veteran Member grulla's Avatar
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    Default These tiny microbes are munching away at plastic waste in the ocean

    Helen Santoro
    May 20, 2019

    Plastic makes up nearly 70% of all ocean litter, putting countless aquatic species at risk. But there is a tiny bit of hope—a teeny, tiny one to be precise: Scientists have discovered that microscopic marine microbes are eating away at the plastic, causing trash to slowly break down.
    To conduct the study, researchers collected weathered plastic from two different beaches in Chania, Greece. The litter had already been exposed to the sun and undergone chemical changes that caused it to become more brittle, all of which needs to happen before the microbes start to munch on the plastic.

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    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019...ic-waste-ocean

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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: These tiny microbes are munching away at plastic waste in the ocean

    I've read other stories about "deep ocean" bacterial enzymes that eat away at plastic, especially plastic around coral reefs. These microbes appear to work on weathered plastic from beaches. My concern is that scientists don't crazy and begin spraying these microbes all over the beaches and oceans to get rid of the plastic, without first knowing the long-term effects of these microbes.

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    Veteran Member grulla's Avatar
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    Default Re: These tiny microbes are munching away at plastic waste in the ocean

    And then there's the idea by Paul Stammets that mushrooms can do the same, and much more: "Mushrooms Can Eat Plastic, Petroleum and CO2" https://returntonow.net/2018/01/11/7...an-save-world/

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