Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have developed a new enzyme that can break plastic down in a matter of hours. This is a big contrast to other attempts at finally finding a way to deal with the mountains of plastic that the economy generates.
Other attempts involved bacteria, but those also ran into problems with only being suitable for very specific types of plastic.
This new enzyme is very different, and the development involved computer AI to predict how certain enzyme mutations might work out.
A report in Treehugger had some interesting context on this.
The great thing about this new enzyme is that it works very well at reasonable temperatures of about 86 Fahrenheit.
So far, researchers have successfully used this enzyme on over 50 types of plastic, and they have all shown excellent results within a week.
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