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Filipino scientists found plastic-eating bacteria in Zambales

Good news! These bacteria capable of eating plastic was discovered in Poon Bato spring in Zambales. Hoping that this would be a solution to growing problems in plastic waste in the Philippines.

Just last year, the group of researchers from the University of the Philippines-Baguio found four strains of bacteria that are capable of biodegrading low-density polyethylene (LDPE), which is commonly used for shampoo bottles and garbage bags.

The research by Denisse Yans dela Torre, Lee delos Santos, Mari Louise, and Ronan Baculi was published in 2018 in the Philippine Science letter, stating that LDPE is "a commonly-used packaging material that is resistant to degradation under natural conditions" and "contributes to environmental pollution".

According to the details collected, the bacteria strains were able to use the LDPE as their sole carbon source, reducing the weight of plastic by up to 9.9 percent after 90 days of incubation.

As a result, "it shows that selected microorganisms exhibited has a great potential for LDPE biodegradation, a discovery which can be used in reducing solid waste currently accumulating in natural environment."

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