LONDON — British researchers have developed a polyethylene additive which they claim can break down packaging, including plastic bags.
Advanced Enzyme Science, a London-based polymer technology company, has developed Enzymoplast, which the firm says consists of proteins and enzymes that break down polyethylene "in a natural way".
"However, this is seldom the case and such materials are often simply dumped, very much to the detriment of the environment because plastic bags and sheeting can take up to 500 years to biodegrade fully. The result is not just that our natural scenery is disfigured, but also that the oceans are polluted to an unimaginable degree. There are already stretches of ocean the size of central Europe full of plastic waste."
According to Advanced Enzyme Science, Enzymoplast triggers a decomposition process when plastic bags containing the additive come into contact with microorganisms.
"Of course we would prefer it if plastics bags were not thrown away in the first place," said Narinder Bharj, CEO of Advanced Enzyme Science. "However, unfortunately that's only theory. And this is why the use of Enzymoplast represents significant progress, both in terms of environmental protection, also for the retail trade and consumers."