PM pledges £60m package to fight plastic pollution at CHOGM

PM pledges £60m package to fight plastic pollution at CHOGM

Additionally, the UK Department for International Development will support research into solutions to reduce manufacturing pollution.

A study, published on Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, may result in a recycling solution to millions of tonnes of plastic bottles, made of polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, which now persists for hundreds of years in the environment.

Scientists in Britain and the United States have engineered a plastic-eating enzyme that could in future help in the fight against pollution.

"There is strong potential to use enzyme technology to help with society's growing waste problem by breaking down some of the most commonly used plastics".

It's estimated that a frankly staggering 12 million tonnes of plastic rubbish is dumped into the oceans every single year.

The researchers made the breakthrough when they were examining the structure of a natural enzyme which is thought to have evolved in a waste recycling centre in Japan, allowing a bacterium to degrade plastic as a food source. PETease was a remarkable organism, having come into existence only since PET was created in the 1940s.

More news: Prime Minster Narendra Modi arrives in Sweden for India-Nordic Summit
More news: Gwyneth Paltrow's secret wedding had the best guest list ever
More news: Matt Ritchie stars as Newcastle hit back to down Arsenal

The researchers worked with scientists at Diamond Light Source (DLS) in the United Kingdom, deploying a synchrotron that uses intense beams of X-rays 10 billion times brighter than the sun to act as a microscope powerful enough to see individual atoms.

Using a super-powerful X-ray, 10 billion times brighter than the Sun, they were able to make an ultra-high-resolution three-dimensional model of the enzyme.

It was then that the serendipitous moment happened. Enzymes are a form of protein that act as catalysts in biochemical reactions.

Lead scientist prof John McGeehan, from Portsmouth university, said: 'Serendipity often plays a significant role in fundamental scientific research, and our discovery is no exception.

Professor McGeehan, Director of the Institute of Biological and Biomedical Sciences in the School of Biological Sciences said: 'Few could have predicted that since plastics became popular in the 1960s huge plastic waste patches would be found floating in oceans, or washed up on once pristine beaches all over the world.

Professor McGeehan said: "The engineering process is much the same as for enzymes now being used in bio-washing detergents and in the manufacture of biofuels - the technology exists and it's well within the possibility that in the coming years we will see an industrially viable process to turn PET and potentially other substrates like PEF, PLA and PBS, back into their original building blocks so they can be sustainably sustained".

Related Articles

  • Teachers protest funding gap, some PERA changes at Capitol

    Teachers protest funding gap, some PERA changes at Capitol

    But advocates are pushing for more because the state is now underfunding schools by about $830 million, Dallman said. "We're all in this thing together", Poudre School District teacher Charlie McNamee said.
    Goldman Sachs ActiveBeta Intl Eq ETF (GSIE) Rises 0.113% for April  16

    Goldman Sachs ActiveBeta Intl Eq ETF (GSIE) Rises 0.113% for April 16

    Ariel Invests Ltd Company has invested 0.07% in The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc . (NYSE:GS) or 21,252 shs on Monday, January 29. Cerebellum GP LLC purchased a new position in Goldman Sachs during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $122,000.
    Armed robbery suspect may have robbed 2 more stores

    Armed robbery suspect may have robbed 2 more stores

    However, the suspects were arrested immediately they arrived at FTB bank to take the money left in their bank account. The man was wearing dark trousers , a black hooded sweatshirt and tan boots, a store employee told police.
  • USA  and United Kingdom  blame Russian Federation  for cyber hacks on internet routers worldwide

    USA and United Kingdom blame Russian Federation for cyber hacks on internet routers worldwide

    They could use a brute-force attack, where they would spam it with different usernames and passwords until it unlocked. Manufacturers and ISPs are asked to not support out-of-date, unencrypted, or unauthenticated protocols and services.
    Investors Alert: Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) moved with fall change of

    Investors Alert: Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) moved with fall change of

    It dived, as 39 investors sold MSFT shares while 1012 reduced holdings. 151 funds opened positions while 383 raised stakes. The Colorado-based Public Employees Retirement Association Of Colorado has invested 0% in Connecticut Water Service, Inc.
    USA  says California rejecting proposed border duties for troops

    USA says California rejecting proposed border duties for troops

    A Del Rio Border Patrol Sector Border Patrol agent briefs National Guard personnel deployed for Operation Guardian Support. Brown was clear last week that California troops will help go after drugs, guns and criminal gangs, but not immigrants.
  • Leafs forward Leo Komarov to miss Game 3 against Boston

    Leafs forward Leo Komarov to miss Game 3 against Boston

    Nikita Kucherov added two assists, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 36 saves in the game that had a major scrum with 23 seconds to go. It was the type of goal that has defined Matthews in his young career with a nose for the net and a quick release in traffic.
    Alfie Evans' family dealt fresh court blow

    Alfie Evans' family dealt fresh court blow

    The child's parents also suggested that Alfie was being unlawfully detained at Alder Hey, but the judge dismissed that suggestion. During the hearing, a lawyer representing Alfie's parents said they wanted the Supreme Court to consider arguments raised.
    Kellyanne Conway's response to Comey interview contradicts Trump's talking point

    Kellyanne Conway's response to Comey interview contradicts Trump's talking point

    She continued to push back against Cuomo's assertion that Comey's announcement hurt Clinton's chances. McCabe's attorney has asserted publicly that emails show "that Mr.
  • Vintage D-Wade Leads Heat To Big Game 2 Win Over Sixers

    Embiid will have a few days to continue his recovery, as Game 3 will be played Thursday at American Airlines Arena in Miami. Embiid has been out since suffering a fractured orbital bone and concussion on March 28 versus the New York Knicks .
    OPCW starts emergency talks on Douma attacks

    OPCW starts emergency talks on Douma attacks

    Britain's delegation to the OPCW accused Russian Federation and the Assad regime of stopping inspectors from reaching Douma. The US envoy told the closed-door talks that Russian Federation may have "tampered" with the site of the attack.
    United Kingdom  and USA  fight back against Russian 'aggression' in cyberspace

    United Kingdom and USA fight back against Russian 'aggression' in cyberspace

    Her Russian counterpart Vassily Nebenzia retorted that the U.S. and its allies were engaged in the "diplomacy of myth-making". Global stock markets have had a whipsaw week, largely fuelled by Trump's tendency to change his mind over top policy issues.