Scientists believe they may have discovered one solution to the planet’s growing level of plastic waste in the form of a plastic-eating fungus.
Researchers who set out to find a naturally occurring means of degrading waste plastic safely, extracted samples from a rubbish dump outside Islamabad in Pakistan and found a soil fungus that was feeding on plastic.
The study’s lead author, Dr Sehroon Khan of the World Agroforestry Centre and Kunming Institute of Biology said:  “We decided to take samples from a rubbish dump in Islamabad, Pakistan, to see if anything was feeding on the plastic in the same way that other organisms feed on dead plant or animal matter”.
The subsequent study, published in science journal Environmental Pollution, isolated the fungus, identified as Aspergillus tubingensis found in the dump to assess its ability to degrade polyester polyurethane.
Polyurethane is used to manufacture a huge variety of everyday objects and components, including tyres, …
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