This microbe makes a meal of plastic - polyethylene terephthalate film
A newly discovered microbial has great harm to contaminated plastics.
For humans, PET is a hard, sturdy plastic fiber that is the main ingredient in polyester clothing and disposable bottles.
But for bacteria, pets are dinner.
Japanese researchers found the bacteria in samples of soil, wastewater and recycled plant sludge, all contaminated with PET particles.
Pets are very stable, and it is rare for known microorganisms to break it down.
Scientists reported in the March 11.
Tests have shown that the bacteria adhere to PET particles and release a protein that breaks down the plastic into molecules that bacteria can chew.