Ireland is among the highest waste producers in Europe. Plastic, paper and aluminum waste is now reused, aided by frequent collection.
Scientists melt non-biodegradable plastic and feed it to bacteria that convert it to polymers.
Polymers produced by bacteria can be used as rubber, pellets, and adhesives.
Irish scientists hope to scale up the plastic conversion process to reduce waste.
Credits: Plastic-eating Bugs—Can Bacteria Break Down Plastic Bottles?: The Science Squad
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Ireland is among the highest waste producers in Europe.Our waste every year would fill Croke Park to the top of the stands!Thankfully we’ve moved quickly from a position of almost total reliance on landfill to a high level of recovery of certain recyclable materials, however plastic bottles have a low recycling value and a lot of these bottles (which are often non-biodegradable) end up in landfills forever. So how can we convert that waste into something that is valuable? Kevin O’Connor at UCD may have the answer, with new technology that uses a combination of chemistry to break down plastic bottles and bacteria to convert the breakdown product to a biodegradable plastic.
Length: 5 minutes
Copyright date: ©2013
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