Fluid Found in Cow’s Stomach Can Breakdown the Plastics

One of the major issues surrounding the environment is the problem of plastic pollution. Researchers have reportedly worked on different methods for better handling and disposing of plastics. One of the helpful discoveries was of how naturally occurring microbes were useful in disintegrating plastics. Recently, scientists found that microbes in cow stomachs can break down plastics.

Recently, scientists from Austria’s University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences found that certain enzymes in the fluid present in the stomach of a cow have the potential to break plastics used in packaging and textiles.

Microbes Found in Cow Stomach Can Break Down Plastics

Certain microbes in the fluid present in the stomach of a cow can break down plastics | Image: UC Davis

They were drawn to the idea that a part of the stomach – rumen – which is responsible to break natural plant polyester is suspected to also break down similarly structured plastics.

Also Read: Scientists Develop a Super-Enzyme That Degrades Plastic Bottles Six Times Faster 

There is a large microbial community that resides in the rumen and helps in the digestion of tough plant materials in animals.

Microbes Found in Cow Stomach Can Break Down Plastics

Heaps of plastic waste dumped in the ocean | Image: Open Edition

Similar studies were also looked upon in recent years where scientists have studied the role of bacteria and microbes in breaking down plastics. Some researchers have also engineered species to escalate the rate of plastic breakdown.

These ideas have been under-explored, with scientists conducting further research to study this area. This idea can be effectively implemented as rumen can easily be available in slaughterhouses. However, better humane methods of cultivating the microbes should be considered for the same.

Via: Frontiers

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