Could the Plastic-Eating Mushroom Help Solve the Plastic Waste Problem?

Unfortunately, the estimated 250 million tons of waste thrown out every year into the landfills of America is destroying our earth. Even though a straw ban helps reduce plastic use and waste, it doesn’t solve this huge problem.

This is why environmentalists and scientists worldwide are searching for methods that will help lower the waste on a global level and reduce its negative impacts on the environment and on humans.

The good news is that more and more people are becoming aware of the negative influence of using plastic bags and buying water in plastic bottles and are turning to safer alternatives like glass.

Could a Mushroom Help Us with the Waste Problem?

According to some findings, a specific type of fungi could help us with the waste reduction- this rare mushroom consumes plastic. The devouring properties of this mushroom in terms of plastics were found back in 2011 when Yale undergraduate team and their professor went to Ecuador for a research trip.

There, in the Amazon, they found the mushroom known as Pestalotiopsis microspora. They discovered that the fungus doesn’t just subsist on polyurethane, but it could do it without any oxygen.

They claimed that they may be able to breed the fungus in the lab and test it in areas with plastic waste; however, there is no further information on this matter yet.

Hence, the mushroom can be planted at landfills and help take out the tons of plastics. Without doubt, the bacteria and fungi are wiser and much older than us.

They’ve been around for a long period of time, hundreds to thousands of times longer than humans. So, it may be logical that they play such an important role in saving the earth.

Waste Keeps on Piling Up?

Despite global efforts for waste reduction, in the US, waste production increases every year and according to studies, plastic recycling is decreasing instead of increasing. Unfortunately, the plastic waste humans produce is estimated to increase by 3.8 percent every year.

According to National Geographic, in the past 60 years, we’ve made around 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic waste and 83.7 percent of this garbage is expected to end in the landfills.

In order to know if this mushroom species could help us with our major problem, more research is necessary. Until then, try to protect the earth by reducing your plastic use!

Sources:

HEALTHY FOOD HOUSE

NEWS WEEK

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