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Soap Making Forum > The Soap Making & Craft Forum > General Chat > Rabbit holes and plastic eaters ...
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:52 PM   #1
SaltedFig
 
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Default Rabbit holes and plastic eaters ...

I am sick today (woke up worse than yesterday), so I can't make anything or see anyone, or even talk on the phone (my voice is nearly useless too) ... blah.

Anyway ... I am distracting myself by diving down rabbit-holes, following trains of thought to ridiculous lengths.
It's only just after 9:30 in the morning, but this one is a beauty, so I thought I might share it!

This is a list (so far short, but it will probably grow) of plastic eating organisms. Without further ado ... for no reason whatsoever, here they are:

Bacteria:
Ideonella sakaiensis (PET plastic)

Fungi
Aspergillus tubingensis (polyester polyurethane plastic)
Pestalotiopsis microspore (PET in anaerobic conditions)

Caterpillars
Galleria mellonella (Nickname: “Wax worm” plastic bags)
- Note, cocoon of the caterpillar will also dissolve plastic


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Last edited by SaltedFig; 10-12-2017 at 12:08 AM. Reason: Category correction
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Old 10-11-2017, 11:31 PM   #2
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Fascinating! I wonder how long it takes for the organisms to break them down?


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Old 10-12-2017, 12:07 AM   #3
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IrishLass, I agree!

To answer your question, the times appear to be:

6 weeks for the bacteria in ideal conditions.

2 months (roughly) for the fungi

But the caterpillars are the quickest, taking just 40 minutes to eat a hole in a plastic bag!

Some references:
Bacteria:
Ideonella sakaiensis: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/351/6278/1196

Fungi:
Pestalotiopsis microspore: https://permaculturenews.org/2017/08...-eating-fungi/

Aspergillus tubingensis
: http://www.thehindu.com/news/interna...le17763461.ece

Caterpillar:
Galleria mellonella: http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and...n-eat-plastic/

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Originally Posted by IrishLass View Post
Fascinating! I wonder how long it takes for the organisms to break them down?


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Old 10-12-2017, 12:19 PM   #4
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I vaguely remember something about them trying to use bacteria/etc on the plastic bags but then ran into an issue with the bags breaking down on the store shelves in a test....or I was in a rabbit hole LOL
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