Feb 21

Plastics Weekly: Beware the Plastic-Eating Bacteria

Editorial Staff
Mar 15, 2021

Welcome to NEO’s weekly news monitoring of the plastics industry.

Every Monday, we publish a roundup of the top developments in plastics and sustainability – from regulatory changes to company news.

This week’s highlights:

  • The race to develop plastic-eating bacteria is on, as a series of breakthroughs in recent years has raised the possibility of building large-scale facilities where enzymes feast on landfill-bound plastic. But experts warn that large-scale commercial use of plastic-eating microorganisms is years away, while their potential release in the environment could create new problems. (Forbes) 
  • Queensland has become the second Australian state to pass new laws banning ‘killer’ single-use plastics, including polystyrene food containers and cups, from 1 September. The state’s environment minister said that a 2018 ban on single-use plastic bags led to their 70% drop in litter surveys. (The Guardian) 
  • New trada data shows that American exports of plastic scrap to poorer countries have barely changed – and overall scrap plastics exports rose – despite a global ban last year to limit exports of plastic waste from richer countries to poor ones. Why does the United States stand out? Because it’s one of the few countries in the world that didn’t ratify the agreement. (The New York Times) 
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