Good news – light at the end of the plastic bottle tunnel

Good news – Light at the end of a plastic bottle tunnel

Millions of tons of plastic bottles made from PET, PolyEthylene Terephthalate, are dumped in landfill in every year. This plastic is difficult to recycle because it has a high ratio of aromatic terephthalate units which reduce chain mobility. The current main recycling process for PET, results in a loss of mechanical properties, so de novo synthesis is more economically viable  and PET waste continues to accumulate.  This publication describes the potential for much improved recycling  thus contributing towards the concept of a circular PET economy, due to an efficient, improved PET hydrolase. We hope so. 

An engineered PET depolymerase to break down and recycle plastic bottles V. Tournier, et al. Nature vol 580, pages 216–219(2020)

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