Can you digest this? 🥡
Plastics make up about 70% of the litter in our oceans the concern for this has been growing bigger by the day. However, a potential solution has been discovered at the smallest of scales, microscopic to be precise.
The study was conducted on litter collected from two different beaches in Chania (Greece) consisting mainly of polyethylene (used in grocery bags, shampoo bottles) and polystyrene (used in food packaging, electronics etc.) The samples were immersed in saltwater with naturally occurring ocean microbes or engineered microbes which could sustain solely on the carbon in plastics. The time period of observation was 5 months and the results look promising.
Both types of plastics lost significant amount of weight. Polyethylene lost about 7% of its weight whereas polystyrene lost about 11%.
While we are far from a 100% chomp rate (LOL), the study may be the foundational stone upon which further research can be done, to combat marine pollution on a global scale effectively.
Looks like scientists have made significant breakthroughs in dealing with ocean plastic. A swim in the Indian ocean doesn’t look like such a far fledged idea anymore.