Enzyme Plastic Waste

The Lempert Report
May 19, 2022

Phil: So talking about bottled water the other day, you know, we talked a lot about the waste of plastic that a lot of these water companies, you know, are saying that, they're trying to reduce waste, but a study came out that found that Triton in particular, that company that bought all the waters from Nestle waters are not living up to their commitments. That they're not doing what they're doing, but now there's some engineers that have come up with a new way that hopefully could make plastic recycling a lot better. What's that about? 

Sally: So it's called FAST-PETase and it's like an enzyme that they have found that can break down plastic a lot faster. So when we're looking at plastic that is filling up our landfills right now, which is what's happening, the plastic is responsible for 12%, I think, of the world's waste. And it can take centuries to break down if it's just thrown into a landfill. Well, this new enzyme will break down the plastic within 24 hours and then they can take that and use it to make new plastic. 

Phil: And the interesting thing also is that globally less than 10%of plastics have been recycled. So we have this huge plastic problem that we keep on ignoring. Yes, it's great that, you know, so many supermarkets around the country have eliminated plastic bags. So many communities make you pay for paper or plastic bags versus just using reusing a plastic bag. But the reality is we really have to stop using as much plastic as we are. Otherwise we have a huge problem. You know, we've got a climate problem, we've got a problem. We have a lot of problems out there. And until we really focus and give some real meat to sustainability and these issues, we're not gonna solve this, this issue.