Plastic Eating Bacteria: Engineering and Impact

Plastic Eating Bacteria: Engineering and Impact

Bacteria that feed on plastic may one day help deal with some of the 14 million tons of plastic that are dumped into our oceans every year. Plastic pollution has a major impact on marine ecosystems and can affect human health. For example, once plastic enters the ocean it can suffocate and entangle animals, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Microplastics are also ingested by many marine species which are preyed upon by other species and which we capture for food. Once ingested, microplastics can leach toxic contaminants that have collected on their surface in the body of the organism that consumed it, according to the IUCN.

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