Is this a good idea?- much as I hate bad plastic I am rather attached to the computer and Dyson. Will they disappear before my very eyes. Here are some reports on plastic degrading microbes

Daniel Burd, a student at Waterloo Collegiate Institute, recently demonstrated that certain types of bacteria can break down plastic. During his scientific research, Daniel discovered that some types of bacteria in the soil can effectively degrade polyethylene plastic. He eventually isolated two microbial strains belonging to the genus Sphingomonas and Pseudomonas . Here’s a link to his research paper.

You can isolate your own plastic degrading microbes here

According to Wikkipedia Nylon 4 or polybutyrolactam can be degraded by the (ND-10 and ND-11) strands of Pseudomonas sp. found in sludge. This produces γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) as a byproduct.[1]Nylon 4 is thermally unstable.[2]


The nylon4 portion in the blend films composed of nylon4 and nylon6 was degraded and completely disappeared within 4 months in two kinds of composted soils gathered from different university farms as well as pure nylon4 film reported previously, while the nylon6 portion remained even after the burial test for 15 months. Nylon4 powder was also degraded to carbon dioxide in the degradation test in an activated sludge obtained from a sewage disposal institution in Kogakuin University. Three species of microoganisms (i.e., ascomytous fungi) were isolated through the inoculation from the nylon4 film partially degraded in the soil on a medium containing nylon4 powder as a carbon source. © 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 86: 2307–2311, 2002

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One thought on “Plastic eating microbes

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