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Plastic Eating Bacteria Might Help
A new discovery in the bacteria world may solve the problem of the increasing amount of plastic found in the oceans. Yet, it may not all be good news.
After studying some of the plastic debris from the Sargasso Sea, an area in the North Atlantic, researchers found that the tiny organisms burrow into the plastic and “live in pits.” They appear to be feeding on the plastic items as well.
“They look like you took a hot barbecue briquette and threw it into the snow,” said Tracy Mincer, a marine microbiologist of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts.
“You see this melting bit all around the outside of the cells, and they’re just burrowing into the plastic,” she added.
The bacteria has only been found on the plastic debris, and not in the water or seaweed surrounding the garbage, which may mean that discovery will become increasingly important in the battle for clean oceans and clean beaches.
The problem, (and there always is one), is that plastics generally contain toxic material, and it is possible that the bacteria are ingesting the toxins and passing it on to any other marine life that preys on it. In other words, the bacteria may be more trouble than it’s worth.
Here’s a thought, don’t toss shit into the ocean and we won’t need to place all of our hope on a bacteria that may, in fact, just be spreading the toxins to fish that we eat.
Read more at RT News.