Bacteria can “eat” plastic pollution in Britain’s lakes

New research found that a specific type of bacteria uses plastic as food and is able to break down natural organic matter in lakes

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Plastic could soon be on the menu for bacteria!

New research endorsed by the University of Cambridge suggests adding a specific species of bacteria to waters could provide a “natural” way to remove plastic pollution from lakes.

Scientists have found that bacteria are able to break down not only plastic but also other natural carbon compounds in lakes.

The researchers, who published their findings in the Nature Communications journal, said that lake bacteria prefer plastic-derived carbon compounds rather than natural ones.

The team suggests carbon compounds from plastics are easier for the bacteria to break down and use as food.

Professor David Aldridge from the University of Cambridge’s Department of Zoology said: “Unfortunately, plastics will pollute our environment for decades.

“On the positive side, our study helps to identify microbes that could be harnessed to help break down plastic waste and better manage environmental pollution.”

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