Wednesday, February 8, 2012
PLASTIC - REDUX
As an addendum to our previous post PLASTIC, THE GOOD, BAD, UGLY, we thought you might be interested in some further information.
Researchers from Yale University traveled to Ecuador's rainforest to look for fungi capable of eating polyurethane plastic, and they say they found more than one! Pestalotiopsis microspora is the fungus they showed to have the most ability to survive while consuming and degrading polyurethane in aerobic and anaerobic (oxygen-free) environments. This, obviously, was done in a lab, but the possibility of using this fungus in a landfill deserves more investigation. (Source: Biodegradation of Polyester Polyurethane by Endophytic Fungi, Applied Environmental Microbiology).
This paper also noted that more and more plastic is being produced every year and cites the 2006 production at 245 million tons. In fact, one industrial facility in China is expected to have the capacity to produce one million metric tons per year - that's just one facility!
Now if we can just keep the seagulls from eating the fungus------