Getting rid of plastic – Pestalotiopsis microspora, a plastic eating fungus

Pestalotiopsis microspora

Plastic is perhaps one of the hugest environmental problems facing Humankind and virtually all animal species around the globe. Being well known for it’s low weight, every year over 300 million tons of plastic are produced in the planet. Estimations report more plastic produced in the first decade of the 21st century, than the entire amount produced in the last century.

Only in our planet oceans, around 46.000 pieces of plastic debris, known as nurdles, are floating in each square mile, killing up to 1 million sea birds 100 thousand sea mammals adding to an unknown number of countless fish, each year.

Moreover, as far as we Humans are concerned, bisphenol A, more known as BPA, the main dioxin released by plastic containers into food and bottled water, as reached a detectable level in 93% of the people in developed countries. BPA has been long ago proven to be a carcinogen element to the Human body. Not only that, also BPA’s are proven to induce cardiovascular disease, age and puberty, obesity and developmental disorders.

Due to it’s low rate of biodegradability, known to be able to take up to thousand of years to succeed, the amount of landfill goes up to 25% of all worldwide waste deposits, being from far the most comment element in them.

Being on the top of the environmental issues, a University of Yale team has recently performed a research on plastic eating fungi, and found a mushroom creating fungus able to bio-degrade polymer polyurethan, one of the most common type of worldwide produced plastic.

This mushroom star is called Pestalotiopsis microspora and it was found in the Equatorian Amazonian rain forest. During trial tests is has become clear that not only it digest plastic by breaking down it’s molecule with it’s enzymes in normal and in abnormal conditions, like in environments in total absence of oxygen, like the ones existing in some waste deposits.  Not only that, it as also been proven to be able to live exclusively from plastic without any other kind of nutrient. Moreover, the Pestalotiopsis microspora has been also recently proven to aid Hidcot spot leaf disease, also known as hypericum, a natural medicine long used in Japan against depressive states, and homeopatically known as herbal “prozac”.

Pestalotiopsis microspora monoculture

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