A research team has found a way to make biodegradable plastics actually disappear, unlike ones that only claim to break down. Typical plastics, even ones dubbed as biodegradable, may not biodegrade in certain environments. Since the 1950s, only 600 million metric tons of plastic have been recycled, compared to the 4.9 billion metric tons in landfill or polluting the planet. Researchers at the University of California have found a way to make plastics disappear, using plastic-eating enzymes. A research team at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC), Berkeley has found a way to make biodegradable plastics actually disappear. While biodegradable plastics have been touted as a solution to plastic pollution, in practice they don’t work as advertised. "Biodegradability does not equal compostability," Ting Xu, study coauthor and UC Berkeley polymer scientist, told Science News . But by studying nature, Xu and her team have developed a process that actually breaks down biodegradable plastics with just heat and water in a period of weeks. The results, published in Nature on Wednesday, could be game-changing for the plastic pollution problem. "We want this to be in every grocery store," Xu […]


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