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I would love to see microbes able to break down plastic. It would be a great help in cleaning up the mess of all the existing plastic. We would of course have to consider what byproducts come from this type of reaction and the energy inputs required. I definitely don't think it's a reason to continue making more plastic, since it fails to address so many of the other issues that you've pointed out like accumulation in the ocean of pre production particles and the toxicity of chemicals found in plastic items. As for the people stating we should just toss these microbes into the gyres and let them go to town; I wish it were that simple, but the breakdown process will require very specific temperature and pH conditions and it just isn't as easy as dumping plastic eating microbes into the ocean.
So lets all keep up our efforts in reducing plastic, hope that we can devise some sort of cleanup solution for the stuff already made and really hope that it doesn't reinforce the concept that plastic is okay!
2 years, 11 months ago on Plastic-Eating Fungi: Environmental Salvation or Distraction?
Great job Beth! You got your message across in a short amount of time and jumped into the conversation a few times very smooth and natural like. I'm glad some daytime TV watchers got to hear your story because they probably aren't typically the ones reading our blog.
2 years, 12 months ago on What I Should Have Said to Melissa Harris-Perry: We Are the Albatross