Plastic-Eating Fungus Found At A Landfill Site In Pakistan | IFLScience

http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/plasticeating-fungus-found-at-a-landfill-site-in-pakistan/

Researchers have found a species of fungus, known as Aspergillus tubingensis, that is able to feed off of plastic. In lab experiments, published in Environmental Pollution, scientists found that the mycelium of the fungus colonizes polyester polyurethane plastic, causing surface degradation and scarring.

This is not the first time that organisms have been found to be able to feed off plastic waste.

6 Comments

  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Plastic-degrading fungus found in Pakistan rubbish dump
    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/plastic-degrading-fungus-pakistan-rubbish-dump-islamabad-dr-sehroon-khan-a7962046.html

    Polyurethane is used to manufacture a huge variety of everyday objects that end up as plastic waste

    Scientists believe they may have discovered one solution to the planet’s growing level of plastic waste in the form of a plastic-eating fungus.

    The subsequent study, published in science journal Environmental Pollution, isolated the fungus, identified as Aspergillus tubingensis found in the dump to assess its ability to degrade polyester polyurethane.

    Polyurethane is used to manufacture a huge variety of everyday objects and components, including tyres, condoms, hoses, supermarket trolleys, car suspension bushings, and some glues.

    Reply
  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Plastic Pollution Is Killing Coral Reefs, 4-Year Study Finds
    https://science.slashdot.org/story/18/01/25/2056235/plastic-pollution-is-killing-coral-reefs-4-year-study-finds?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Slashdot%2Fslashdot%2Fto+%28%28Title%29Slashdot+%28rdf%29%29

    Plastic Pollution Is Killing Coral Reefs, 4-Year Study Finds
    https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/01/25/580227045/plastic-pollution-is-killing-coral-reefs-4-year-study-finds

    Millions of tons of plastic waste end up in the ocean every year. And the trash stays there: Whether it’s grocery bags or water bottles or kids’ toys, plastic is practically indestructible.

    Now marine scientists have discovered that it’s killing coral reefs.

    A new study based on four years of diving on 159 reefs in the Pacific shows that reefs in four countries — Australia, Thailand, Indonesia and Myanmar — are heavily contaminated with plastic. It clings to the coral, especially branching coral. And where it clings, it sickens or kills.

    “The likelihood of disease increases from 4 percent to 89 percent when corals are in contact with plastic,” researchers report in the journal Science.

    “It’s certainly well known that plastics abrade corals, create new openings,” she says. “They basically tear open the skin of the coral and that can allow an infection from anywhere to start.”

    Coral reefs already are susceptible to bleaching due to unusually warm water, either from seasonal shifts in water temperature or from human-caused global warming. “Bleached coral is more susceptible to disease,” Harvell says. “The bleached coral is stressed. Plastic would make things that much worse.”

    Reply
  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Scientists accidentally create mutant enzyme that eats plastic bottles
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/16/scientists-accidentally-create-mutant-enzyme-that-eats-plastic-bottles?CMP=share_btn_tw

    The breakthrough, spurred by the discovery of plastic-eating bugs at a Japanese dump, could help solve the global plastic pollution crisis

    Reply
  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Not so fantastic single-use plastic to get an eco-friendly makeover
    https://horizon-magazine.eu/article/not-so-fantastic-single-use-plastic-get-eco-friendly-makeover_en.html

    Milk-based edible food packaging and ready-meal trays made from wood could help reduce the pervasiveness of single-use plastic, a major cause of environmental pollution adversely affecting wildlife, habitats and human health.

    It may come as a shock to some, but around half of all the plastic products in the world are used only once. After they enter the waste stream, these practically indestructible synthetic materials end up in landfill or oceans, persisting in the environment for hundreds of years.

    Reply

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