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Thread: Amazonian Mushroom Eats Indestructible Plastics

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    Amazonian Mushroom Eats Indestructible Plastics

    We use polyurethane to make just about everything—garden hoses, furniture, the entirety of my local 99-cent store. It's easy to produce, durable, and dirt cheap. What it isn't is recyclable—there isn't a single natural process that breaks it down. That is until a newly-discovered Amazonian fungus takes a bite.

    Pestalotiopsis microspora is a resident of the Ecuadorian rainforest and was discovered by a group of student researchers led by molecular biochemistry professor Scott Strobel as part of Yale's annual Rainforest Expedition and Laboratory. It's the first fungus species to be able to survive exclusively on polyurethane and, more importantly, able to do so in anaerobic conditions — the same conditions found at the bottom of landfills. This makes the fungus a prime candidate for bio-recycling projects that could finally provide an alternative to just burning the plastic, or burying it and hoping for the best.
    http://gizmodo.com/5880768/amazonian...tible-plastics

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    I can almost imagine a Day of the Trifids scenario happening... well, not really. This is pretty interesting news. As unsure as introducing species into new environments makes me, this could definitely solve some of our trash disposal problems. But what about trash not made of polyurethane?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Storm Saxon View Post
    ...this could definitely solve some of our trash disposal problems. But what about trash not made of polyurethane?
    Maybe we could just consume and throw away less stuff. And we should use less packaging on items when possible, and when possible use material which we could recycle easy.

    One of the most interesting news in this area is biodegradable plastic made from plants, not oil.

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