Scientists Jenny Yao and Miranda Wang might have come up with a solution for our plastic problem
The fact that plastic takes almost forever to degrade is a huge problem, especially since there will come a point in time where we will simply run out of space to keep our plastic trash. This is why there have been initiatives to eliminate plastic straws and bags used when you go to the supermarket.
While that might provide some relief in the future use of plastics, it doesn’t solve the problem of plastics we have at the moment, the two Japanese students might have discovered a new way to dispose plastic. They have already won 5 prizes thanks to this project, they became popular as they were the youngest to win the Perlman science prize . All thanks to its tiny bacteria capable of transforming plastic into CO2 and water.
This does not mean that we can just dump the bacteria onto existing plastics, but rather they will need to go through a process of being dissolved and once the plastic because highly malleable, it is then placed into a biodigester station where the bacteria will go to town on it. Where they behave as if they were leftovers of food. The process runs in just 24 hours. This is not the first time that it has been thought up to use bacteria to help solve our plastics problem, it is one of the alternatives that science is giving us.
As Wang points out, “It is practically impossible to make people stop using plastic, we need technology to break the material, and everything becomes biodegradable.” The students have since managed to obtain financing of $400,000 to start developing this into a product. All this with only 20 years old.