16-Year Old Boy Isolates Microbe That Eats Plastic, Potentially Saves Earth

I first became truly horrified at America's addiction to plastic and its already-hugely deleterious effects when I read Best Life's stunning piece on our Plastic Ocean. One of the most dangerous elements of plastic is that it almost never goes away. Plastic bags are made of polyethylene, which micro-organisms don't break down like organic material. They can also be poisonous, making for a dangerous combination not only for nature, but also for humanity.

Since then, I've tried my best to reduce my usage of plastic in all aspects of my life, whether it be bringing a reusable bag to the supermarket or cutting down on the amount of bottled water I buy. Nonetheless, as shockingly depicted by Chris Jordan, America's collective usage of plastic continues unabated.

Enter Daniel Burd, a 16-year old boy who isolated the microorganisms that degrade plastic...as part of a science project:

Daniel, a 16-year-old Grade 11 student at Waterloo Collegiate Institute, got the idea for his project from everyday life. "Almost every week I have to do chores and when I open the closet door, I have this avalanche of plastic bags falling on top of me," he said. "One day, I got tired of it and I wanted to know what other people are doing with these plastic bags."The answer: not much. So he decided to do something himself.

Could this be the first step to ending our plastic problem? What do you guys think?

Read the Link for details on Daniel's experiments.

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recycling, while abmirable, is ultimately -- utilizing current technologies -- wasteful. this plastic dehration process seems as of it involves few, if any, hazardous waste products and/or unneccesary resource expenditure.
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this has great potantial in a good AND bad way: killerbees suppose to give more honey, but they escaped. What if the plastic eating superstrain bacteria in 20 years from now gets away? PLastic would be useless.
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Nice idea. His buddies probably hit him up for a batch to play a prank, turning them loose inside the principal's car.

Hey; a whole new market for these bugs!
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