Is There Any Bacteria That Can Break Down Plastic?
Yes, there are particular strains of bacteria that are effective in breaking down plastic.
The most prominent discovery of this bacteria was made in Japan where researchers found a bacterium, Ideonella sakaiensis 201-F6, which could digest polyethylene terephthalate (PET) — the material used for single-use plastic bottles. This bacterium does so by producing and secreting an enzyme called PETase. Read this article about PET https://www.naraloca.com/post/what-is-pet.
PETase (a protein which accelerates reactions) can split certain chemical bonds in PET; the bacteria can then absorb the smaller molecules it left behind (which contain carbon, and can be used by the bacteria as fuel/food).
This breakthrough has been shown at very small laboratory scales. However, the authors and researchers in this field are open about the fact that this is not a near-term solution and would take major technological and scientific developments before it can close to the scale that would have an impact.
Nara Loca Abadi is a recycled plastic specialist that promotes the use of recycled PET flakes, recycled PET chips, recycled PP & HDPE granules to various plastic and polyester manufacturers.