Bye Bye Plastic

Maybe it’s cheap, perhaps its easy to make, or perhaps we’re just lazy to move on to a better alternative. The truth is, we are dependant on plastic. One way or the other, it’s around us. One thing around you all the time is made from or has some part made from plastic, and that’s not the problem, the problem is at its disposal. Plastic constitutes approximately 90 percent of all trash floating on the ocean’s surface, with 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile. One million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals have killed annually from plastic in our oceans.

How do we combat this waste issue? How do we dispose of plastic responsibly without burning it? Well, God Bless Nature. In the outskirts of the Capital in Pakistan, there has been a newly discovered soil fungus, which eats plastic in one of the dumping sites.

The fungus, identified as Aspergillus tubingensis was found in the dump yards and can degrade polyester polyurethane, aka plastic.

The fungus can degrade the plastic in three conditions

  1. Agar Plate – Fastest
  2. Liquid – 2 months’ time
  3. Soil Burial – Slowest

The researchers are currently assessing the fungus and its use on a large-scale installation and possible the ocean as well without damaging the existing marine ecosystem. Its impact could be of significant use to municipal institutions of cities, poor settlements with no access to recycling centers and marine biologist. However, it should be carefully monitored not to eat plastic that is useful.

Plastic-degrading fungus found in Pakistan rubbish dump – Harry Cockburn


COMMENT – Air Purification through Carpets – This is an excellent micro-level solution, however, if you look at the concept of air pollution at a macro level, you can’t go on planting carpets across an entire city like Beijing and vacuum it every morning. This article shows a startup that’s trying to convert smog from the atmosphere into diamonds.


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