Plastic Debris

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The growing problem of ocean plastic debris is going to affect the marine environment. Plastic debris including resin pellets, fragments and microscopic plastic fragments, contain organic contaminants, added during plastics manufacture, while others adsorb from the surrounding seawater. Plasticizers, other plastics additives and constitutional monomers also present potential threats in terrestrial environments because they can leach from waste disposal sites into groundwater or surface water. Although recycling has been one of the options to reduce pollution from plastics, however, it is found that recycling centre do produce wastewater that consist of toxic remains of plastics. The only real option is to find a successful system that can battle…show more content…
His main objective was to find a way to increase the decomposition rate of plastics. The hypothesis on his project was that after the plastic bags been broken down, the microorganisms that decomposes the plastics should be isolated and concentrated, thus speeding up the decomposition process. At the beginning of his project, he took a few soil samples from a local landfill and mixed them with polyethylene, one of the substances used to make plastics, and also a solution to encourage bacterial growth. After 12 weeks of constant concentrating and incubating the solution, the bacterial culture was tested on strips of polyethylene. After six weeks, the strips had lost more than 17 per cent of their weight compared to a set of control strips. In this experiment, he discovered that a combination of two types of bacteria, Sphingomonas and Pseudomonas were effective at breaking down the polyethylene. After isolating these two bacteria, combining them with some sodium acetate and incubating the solution at 37°C, Burd was able to degrade the plastic by 43% in only six weeks, with the only outputs being water and a small amount of carbon dioxide. His study shows that the system is cheap, energy efficient, and easily scalable for industrial applications. With…show more content…
There are cases reported that the fish are using the plastics debris as food, and so when humans consume fish, the toxics will travel into the human body. To encounter this, Miranda Wang and her team are working on building a genetically modified bacterium that can break down plastics about 80 times faster than the best known organism. This bacteria breaks down the plastics, and due to the chemistry happens in the cell, the cell complete the decomposition in a completely non-toxic way. So, the cell protein can be used to feed fish. Based on their research, by introducing this bacteria into the feed trials 73% mortality rate in salmon fish had been
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