A discovery is helping the environment by fighting plastic pollution. Scientists have determined a mutant enzyme that would help the recycling procedure for plastic bottles. The engineered protein was initially found in 2012.
The impact it has on the bottles is represented by a reduction in the initial chemical composition of the containers. A recent improvement in this discovery was published in the research paper Nature.
The researchers have stated that this upgraded version is bringing extra effectiveness in the process that has never been as innovative as it is now. The team of researchers is composed of people from a France “green chemistry” company, Carbios, and the Universite de Toulouse.
They discovered that the effectiveness rate of their newly discovered product is destroying 90% of the plastic bottles within 10 hours of action. The optimized enzyme has shown a significant increase above all PET hydrolases.
A mutant enzyme can fight plastic pollution
The United Nations are stating that back in 2018, 300 million tons of plastic were produced. In addition to this, for more than seven decades the humanity has provided eight billion tons of plastic. 60% of this production resulted in a landfill or somewhere in the natural environment.
Carbios has stated that this innovative technology is the basis for the future of the recycling process. The officials are making plans to bring this product on a global industrial scale, making it available for countries to use it for recycling.
In addition to this, the effectiveness of these enzymes is proven by the research performed in-depth. According to The Guardian, the upgrading work has been conducted on over 100.000 micro-organisms.
The cost of the mutant enzyme will be only 4% of the total cost of the virgin plastic. Mutations have been added to improve the efficiency and to raise the stable temperature to 72 degrees, improving as well the degradation.