An enzyme from mutant bacteria will destroy plastic waste in just a few hours

A team of researchers at Carbios has created an enzyme produced by mutant bacteria that can destroy plastic bottles in just 10 hours. The unique technology was developed jointly with Pepsi and LOreal.

The enzyme breaks down plastic waste into individual chemical components, which can then be used to make new bottles. In contrast to this technology, thermomechanical processing produces plastic of insufficient quality, which is used mainly in the manufacture of clothing and carpets.

It is worth noting that the destructive enzyme was created by nature. It was first discovered in 2012 in a pile of composted leaves. It turned out to be not only the most efficient among other "candidates", but also very cost-effective in production - about 25 times cheaper than making new plastic from oil.

The researchers hope to test the "industrial and commercial potential" of the new enzyme in France in 2021, according to Alain Marty, a spokesman for the scientific committee of Carbios.