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Can plastic eating bacteria help control pollution?

The world is changing. And we do not mean that in a positive way. The world is changing in a way that most people just may not be able to survive. Humans are an extremely invasive species and are damaging Earth in many ways. One of the worst and most popular inventions of man is plastic.

This invention is not only non-biodegradable but also lasts a number of years without their being any effect to its status.

But mother nature has one natural defender against this unfair enemy – a plastic eating bacteria.

Here are some facts about plastic eating bacteria that could prove to be very useful:

It essentially rots away the plastic

These natural-born attackers attack all sorts of living beings, and even raw materials. Bacteria is one of the main factors behind food and other items rotting. Plastic bacteria work in the same way. It attacks plastic materials, and rots them away over an undefined period of time. As soon as the plastic starts rotting away, it eventually converts into a rotten product that no animal would do the favour of eating. Speaking of which.

Lesser plastic means less animals dying

According to a report by cortisol elisa, dolphins and some other marine do eat plastic. This is because they usually confuse it with animals like jellyfish, which they prey on. There are a lot of cases of whales washing up ashore, and when cut open, you could see a lot of plastic in their stomach. Plastic is essentially indigestible. Even more dangerous is the fact that it can clog up the gills of aquatic life.

Plastic eating bacteria actually thrive on plastic

This unique type of bacteria essentially thrive on plastic; they eat away all kinds of plastic, converting it into basic carbon-based compounds that can eventually be returned to the atmosphere.

When this bacteria is exposed to plastic, plastic starts losing its integrity and lasts for a far shorter amount of time than when not exposed to bacteria.

It can be artificially recreated

Scientists have discovered several substances that could be artificially recreated, and could act as bacteria that would eat away the plastic. These bacteria actually multiply, and could eventually prove to be a strong fighter against all the plastic that is present both in the oceans and on land.

Of course, there is a lot to be learnt. Plastic eating bacteria have not been shown to have any harmful impact on human beings, but since there hasn’t been enough testing, the test results of the bacteria being constructed on a major scale are not sure.


Plastic is indeed one of the worst sins mankind has ever committed. Though we are moving towards a more biodegradable approach nowadays there is still a lot of plastic dumped into landfill and the oceans to take care of. Bacteria are only part of the solution. We will need much more if we are to make our world a more inhabitable place for people to live in.

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