Bacteria clean up plastics waste

Researchers have uncovered a natural and cost-effective method to decontaminate groundwater polluted by PVC plastic production.

The trial saw the injection of natural bacteria into a Sydney aquifer, contaminated by a leak from a former ICI Australia chemical plant years ago.

“Our tests showed that these bacteria effectively breathe these pollutants the way we breathe oxygen,” said researchers. “It’s a big step forward. These cultures represent a greener and cheaper tool we can use to clean up some of our contaminated sites. They have not previously been available in Australia. The real appeal is that they’re Aussie bugs.”

It is hoped that the new method can be rolled out nationwide to clean up polluted sites such as Altona, Victoria.

Read more at UNSW