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Elhaym t1_j5ju3ao wrote

Discoveries like this have the dual quality of making me happy for the future but also wondering if this is the sort of thing that spirals into some type of apocalyptic scenario.


WistfulMelancholic t1_j5jvmaz wrote

Imagine infesting someone's house with bedbugs, termites AND plastic eating bacteria.. Add some flesh eating ants (yes..) and the crime is perfect.


Fleckeri t1_j5kaqbk wrote

Just wait til they learn to eat asphalt.


whiterabbit_obj t1_j5kfyad wrote

Every time a new "bacteria eating plastic" article comes up I think of the book "Mutant 59: The Plastic Eater". In which they release a virus to eat the plastic they don't want anymore but it mutates to eat all plastic.


Crazy-Factor4907 t1_j5kzuih wrote

Also makes me worry if the plastic-eating bacteria would be able to harm electronic devices.


anpoca t1_j5ld0d3 wrote

Don't quote me on this but plastic is mostly used for cases and coolers, and sometimes structural elements. Electronics are silica wafers (not plastic) with copper or gold etched onto them. We'd probably have to stop using plastic for phones and buttons and such but it's not a big change.

Besides, we have many types of plastics with wildly different chemical compositions. It's unlikely all of them will suddenly become biodegradable.


thermi t1_j5nn5dk wrote

PCBs are plastic. Glass fiber saturated with epoxy.


brasslamp t1_j5pblmv wrote

Its a weird duality, right. Like, great you can get bacteria in a lab to eat plastic or found some bacteria in a specific place that can do it. But with how pervasive micro-plastics are you'd need this bacteria to be ubiquitous across soil and water globally while also not disrupting existing micro-biomes. Otherwise its just going to be in some sort of plastics processing facility and only be used in places where government policy forces their use or a useful biproduct is created from the processing that creates a market motivation that keeps the plastic out of the trash.