To read an article entitled, "Trip to rainforest yields new way to degrade plastic" please click on the following link:
Why am I telling you about this science news? Because some Yale University students who were engaged in research in the Amazon rainforest have apparently discovered some living organisms which were in fungi, and which can degrade polyurethane through their normal living activities!! As mentioned in the article:
"the enzyme identified by Yale students holds particular promise because it also degrades plastic in the absence of oxygen — a prerequisite for bioremediation of buried trash!!!"
Let us hope that scientists can discover how these organisms are able to degrade polyurethane so that this understanding can be applied to deal with the plastic waste which is filling land-sites and our oceans!
Sadly in doing this blog post I have become aware of the fact that scientists have discovered another great garbage patch in one of our oceans. Previously, Charles Moore, an ocean researcher discovered a large patch of plastic floating in the Pacific in 1997 which was later referred to by some as the "Great Garbage Patch". Now according to the Planetsave.org website:
"the Atlantic can lay claim to a human produced waste patch of its own.Wife and husband team Anna Cummins and Marcus Eriksen sailed across the Atlantic Ocean in February between Bermuda and Portugal’s mid-Atlantic Azores Islands. In the middle of the Atlantic is the Sargasso Sea, an area surrounded by various ocean currents, including the well known Gulf Stream. The pair took samples ever 100 miles (160 kilometres) and each time they pulled up their trawl it was full of plastic.
“We found the great Atlantic garbage patch,” said Anna Cummins. “Our job now is to let people know that plastic ocean pollution is a global problem – it unfortunately is not confined to a single patch.”
Why the importance on letting people know that this is a problem? Because there is no feasible way to go about cleaning up the ocean garbage patches. "these garbage patches provide a huge danger to animals, both water based and air based. Plastics entangle birds while fish unwittingly mistake small bits of plastic for plankton and other edible treats. Countless stories exist of fish being caught and their bellies being full of plastic debris.