Scientists discover new plastic-eating bacteria

For story suggestions or custom animation requests, contact [email protected] Visit http://archive.nextanimationstudio.com to view News Direct's complete archive of 3D news animations.

RESTRICTIONS: Broadcast: NO USE JAPAN, NO USE TAIWAN Digital: NO USE JAPAN, NO USE TAIWAN
Scientists have found tiny microbes that are able to break down plastic waste found in the ocean, according to a study published in Science Magazine.

The bacteria has been named Ideonella Sakaiensis.[a][b]

In a separate study, researchers from the Technical University of Crete experimented with the bacteria. They collected samples of weathered plastic such as polyethylene and polystyrene debris from two different beaches in Greece.

According to The European Scientist, polyethylene is commonly used to make plastic bags while polystyrene is typically used in food packaging.

The researchers immersed both types of plastic in saltwater from the sea, according to Science Magazine.

One batch had naturally-occurring ocean microbes added to the water, while the other had bacteria enhanced with carbon-eating microbe strains. The plastic-consuming microbes were used to speed up the chemical reactions normally required to break down plastic.

After five months, the scientists weighed the plastic debris and found that the polyethylene had a weight reduction of 7 percent, while the polystyrene had a weight reduction of 11 percent.

According to the study, the microbes could offer an attempt at solving the problem of plastic pollution.

However, more research would be needed to see how effective the bacteria would be on a larger scale.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. The bacteria Ideonella Sakaiensis[c][d] being pulled out from the ocean
2. The plastic-eating microbe on a podium, two beaches and an inset of polyethylene and polystyrene
3. The bacteria breaking down the plastic in salt water
4. The amount of plastic the bacteria was able to break down

VOICEOVER (in English):
"According to a study published in Science Magazine, scientists have found tiny microbes that are able to break down plastic waste found in the ocean."

"The bacteria has been named Ideonella Sakaiensis.[e][f]"

"In a separate study, researchers from the Technical University of Crete experimented with the bacteria.

"They collected samples of weathered plastic such as polyethylene and polystyrene debris from two different beaches in Greece."

"According to Science magazine, the researchers immersed both types of plastic in saltwater from the sea."

"One batch had naturally-occurring ocean microbes added to the water, while the other had bacteria enhanced with carbon-eating microbe strains."

"The plastic-consuming microbes were used to speed up the chemical reactions normally required to break down plastic."

"After five months, the scientists weighed the plastic debris and found that the polyethylene had a weight reduction of 7 percent, while the polystyrene had a weight reduction of 11 percent."

SOURCES: European Scientist, Science Magazine, Journal of Hazardous Materials
https://www.europeanscientist.com/en/environment/can-plastic-eating-bacteria-help-solve-the-plastic-pollution-problem/
https://science.sciencemag.org/content/351/6278/1196
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/05/these-tiny-microbes-are-munching-away-plastic-waste-ocean
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304389419305060?via%3Dihub