One very important factor in causing all this is the PLASTIC that we use, to be more scientifically specific the polyethylene terephthalate, known commonly as PET or polyester. It is because plastic is non-degradable (cannot be destroyed chemically). Imagine the plastic syringe you once used and threw, will live an eternity, long after you and all your next generations come and die.
BUT! Thanks to ‘Start-up GeneOn, Turkey’ where scientists have come up with a bacteria that may eat up the plastic. We welcome PETman- The Plastic Eating Bacteria to our deteriorating world and hope that it saves our future.
PETman- The Plastic Eating Bacteria
PETman is said to break the bonds in PET and help degrade it.
The founder of Startup GeneOn Begüm Esra Aytan says to Hurriyet Daily News : “PETman is a plastic-breaking enzyme that has been produced by taking inspiration from [other] plastic-breaking bacteria and is a result of a DNA transfer to another bacteria that has the capability of giving output in a very fast way. It has been produced with the reprogramming of bacteria genetically,”
Earlier the recycling of PET could be done by other chemicals under the condition of 250 to 400 Degree Celsius temperature which was very costly. But our PETman works at a temperature as low as 40 Degree Celsius. Plus it breaks down the plastic into a reuseable petroleum-based raw material. Which means that we are not only destroying our enemy but also reusing it in our favour.
It is said that the project is in a prototype phase and has received approvals to continue from the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK).
Is PETman Safe?
The only thing I am worried about is whether the bacteria are fully safe for human beings? what else can the plastic-eating bacteria eat up? Can the plastic-eating bacteria be killed after they have done their work? What is the growth rate of the bacteria? Will it prove to be a threat to the humankind in the long run?
I hope that all these questions get full attention before launching the bacteria fully into the world so that it may only contribute to saving our environment and not destroying it further.