The new process is mixed with enzymes that can decompose polyester in the process of plastic production. These enzymes are entangled by a simple polymer, which prevents the enzyme from folding and deactivation. When exposed to heat and water, enzymes get rid of the polymer shield and start to break the plastic polymer into monomers. PLA, for example, is broken down into lactate, which can be used by soil microorganisms in composting. Enzymes coated polymers also degrade.
This process does not produce micro plastics, which is a by-product of many chemical degradation processes and is also a source of pollution. And 98% of plastics made by Xuting team can be degraded into small molecules