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What does fruit juice plastic bottles, a Japanese waste processing facility and a lab manufactured super enzyme all have in common?

Give up?

Well the answer to this particular riddle is simple: the creation of a new recycling revolution back down here on planet earth.

Most plastic drinks bottles are made from a plastic called polyethylene terephthalate (PET). In fact around the world more than 70 percent of the world’s plastic bottles are made from this material. Whilst PET can be recycled a number of times discarded bottles that are not processed can remain in the environment for hundreds of years before it degrades.

So that accounts for the fruit juice bottles part of our riddle, now for the super enzyme and the Japanese waste processing plant. A random chance discovery of a strain of bacteria at a plant that can eat its way through PET got scientists rather excited. The bacteria used a naturally produced enzyme, given the rather catchy name of PETase. British scientists studying the properties of the enzyme inadvertently created a super variety of the protein that can eat its way through plastics. The research undertaken by the University of Portsmouth could lead to a new, natural, way of processing the mountains of plastic waste humans create every single day.

At UKVending we look forward to seeing the results of these experiments.


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