"‘Super-Enzyme’ Speeds Up Breakdown of Plastic, Researchers Say"

"A new cocktail of enzymes that speeds up the degradation of plastic offers a step forward in finding a new form of recycling that is faster, is more affordable and works on a larger scale than current methods, British and American researchers said this week.

The “super-enzyme” could be employed to break down plastic bottles much more quickly than current recycling methods and create the raw material to make new ones, according to the scientists. And it may make it easier to repurpose the material.

“This is a very exciting development for plastics recycling and environmental stewardship,” said Jim Pfaendtner, a professor of chemistry at the University of Washington.

An estimated 359 million tons of plastic is produced annually worldwide, with at least 150 million tons of it sitting in landfills or in the environment."

Isabella Kwai reports for the New York Times September 29, 2020.

Source: NYTimes, 09/30/2020