Home Science Cows Eat Plastic?

Cows Eat Plastic?

Author

Date

Category

Microbes In Cow’s Stomach Can Degrade Plastic, Study Suggests

With the use of single-use plastics creating an ever-growing pollution problem, scientists are searching for ways to degrade the material, with research in recent years considering microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi, as a biological means of recycling plastic in an environmentally friendly way.

Researchers at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna hypothesized that some of the microbes in the cow’s rumen, the largest compartment of a cow’s stomach, should be able to degrade polyesters, due to their diets. Cows consume a natural polyester produced by plants, called cutin, which can be found in peels of tomatoes and apples, Dr Doris Ribitsch, a senior scientist on the research team told Live Science.

The researchers examined the effect of liquid from the rumen on three types of polyesters by incubating each plastic for three days. It was tested on PET (a synthetic polymer often used in food packaging); PBAT (biodegradable plastic commonly used in compostable plastic bags); and PEF (a material derived from plant or vegetable sources). Each type was tested in both film and powder form.

The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, found that all three plastics could be degraded by the microorganisms found in the rumen, although they broke down PEF best. The plastic powders broke down quicker than plastic film.

The team analysed DNA from the liquid to identify which microbes were behind the degradation, finding that 98 percent were bacteria.

The research could in turn allow scientists to identify the bacteria driving the material’s degradation and the enzymes they produce. They could then be genetically engineered and used in the recycling process.

Dr Ribitsch said the research team was also trying to find microbes that can consume more stubborn plastics such as polyethylene – and wonders if they could also possibly be found in the stomachs of cows. “Maybe we can find, in such huge communities, like in the rumen liquid, enzymes that can also degrade polypropylene and polyethylene,” she told Live Science.

At present, most of the UK’s plastic waste is burned or dumped, often after being shipped out to other countries. A Greenpeace investigation earlier this year found plastic bags and packaging from UK retailers and supermarkets dumped at sites across southern Turkey, leading the organisation to condemn British firms for dumping their waste abroad.

Previous articleHave Your Say
Next articleHave Your Say

8 COMMENTS

  1. …The team analysed DNA from the liquid to identify which microbes were behind the degradation, finding that 98 percent were bacteria….

    If you want to degrade something just put it in a Labour Party cabinet meeting.
    There is so much bacteria there plastic- or pretty much anything -would degrade.

    This has been proven repeatedly for 4 years and has had more testing and proof of concept than a covid ‘vaccine’ !!

    5

    0

  2. Cows Eat Plastic?

    Now you are giving Bill Gates ideas.
    Except it will not be the cows eating it.

    Seriously, Ed, with this retirement gig you have too much time available to be giving bad ideas to globalists.

    3

    0

    • It’s not as easy as you think. I still think I have to go to work each day at the same time.
      Still have the land and buildings to sell. Once that goes, I will then have to sell the plant and equipment, forklifts, etc.
      So am not in full retirement mode yet.

      5

      0

Recent posts

The Killer in the Bloodstream: the “Spike Protein”

The Killer in the Bloodstream: the “Spike Protein” Has there ever been a greater threat to humanity than the Covid vaccine? By Mike Whitney Global Research, July 31,...

How True

For the first time in human history, we can transmit a disease we don’t have…. to those who are immunized against it. Sharri Markson, Liam...

Stealing High-paid Jobs

How white Aussies who pretend to be Aboriginal are taking over universities and stealing high-paid jobs meant for real Indigenous Australians. By Stephen Gibbs. Aboriginal academic Victoria...

Recent comments

Mike Hunty on Have Your Say
wiseowl on Have Your Say
wiseowl on Have Your Say
Mike Hunty on Have Your Say
Bon on Have Your Say
Braybots nemesis on Have Your Say
waikatogirl on Have Your Say
revtech120 on Have Your Say

The way we all feel about this useless government

Hamilton
overcast clouds
14.1 ° C
15 °
13.4 °
71 %
5.4kmh
93 %
Tue
13 °
Wed
12 °
Thu
14 °
Fri
13 °
Sat
14 °
NZD - New Zealand Dollar
USD
1.4294
EUR
1.6971
AUD
1.0536
CAD
1.1441
GBP
1.9863
JPY
0.0131
CNY
0.2212
INR
0.0192