New Crush: This Newly-Discovered Plastic-Eating Bacteria
You know how the earth is rapidly corroding due to the centuries of trash we’ve littered it with? Well luckily for us unworthy assholes, scientists have just possibly unearthed the hero we need but don’t deserve — a bacteria that has the ability to break down and devour plastic.
The strain of bacteria the Japan-based scientists discovered can break down Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is the common form of plastic used to make plastic bottles, cosmetics, and household cleaners. I was unsure how much I believed in romantic love until the moment I read about this plastic, and now I feel a sensual and unwavering devotion forming in my soul. object-love is real, yes?
Their findings which are detailed in the academic journal Science states that “Ideonella sakaiensis breaks down the plastic by using two enzymes to hydrolyze PET and a primary reaction intermediate, eventually yielding basic building blocks for growth.”
This is incredible news considering at this point roughly 1/3 of all plastics end up escaping collections systems and clogging up our oceans and infrastructures. The implementation of this smoldering plastic could possibly fight previous bleak predictions that plastic could outnumber fish in the ocean by 2050, which would only increase my projections of affection towards this bacteria.
In related and equally arousing news, it was discovered back in September that mealworms can sustain on styrofoam which presents us with another unlikely alpha-hero to shower love on, who even needs Tinder when there is planet-saving bacteria on the loose?