There are new ways to degrade plastic boxes

- Apr 13, 2019-

The processing and manufacture of plastic materials such as plastic boxes, transparent PVC boxes, transparent folding boxes, etc. are very beneficial to the public. But for the environment or for the future, it is a very difficult problem to solve. Because the degradation of the plastic box is very difficult. Many manufacturers now propose to use paper bags instead of plastic boxes. In fact, China has found a new way to degrade plastic boxes.

Plastic does not degrade, pollutes dirt and food

In 2013, the world consumed 299 million tons of plastics, of which 7% of polystyrene plastics consumed about 21 million tons per year. Authoritative surveys have shown that polystyrene is only degraded in the range of 0.01%-3% in soil, sludge, rot waste, or manure microbial communities for 4 months. Due to high molecular weight and high stability, it is generally believed that microorganisms cannot degrade polystyrene plastics.

Every year, 40 million tons of waste plastics accumulate in the world, and about 2 million tons of discarded plastics are thrown into the environment every year in China. Nearly half of the agricultural film remains in the soil, which is a great hidden danger in food safety.

It takes 200 years to rely on microbial degradation of plastics.

“Plastic is completely assimilated by microorganisms in the soil, degraded into CO2 and water to achieve inorganic mineralization, which may take 200-400 years, resulting in accumulation in the environment.” Professor Yang Jun said.

However, Chinese scientists have found in the research that plastics are rapidly biodegraded in the intestinal tract of Tenebrio molitor, and the plastic waste in the environment has a new fate.

In 2015, Professor Yang Jun from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Dr. Zhao Wei from Shenzhen Huada Gene Company jointly published two sister research papers in the authoritative journal “Environmental Science & Technology” in the field of environmental science, which proved the yellow mealworm (bread). The larvae of the worm can degrade the most difficult plastics such as polystyrene.

It is this kind of worm. It only eats polystyrene foam in its lifetime. The larvae can live for at least one month and then develop into adult worms. The plastic they eat will degrade, mineralize into carbon dioxide or grow into fat.

Plastic boxes, transparent PVC boxes, and transparent folding boxes have always been very difficult to handle in our lives. It is very convenient to use, but it is very difficult to handle. Not easy to oxidize, a large number of long-term plastic boxes, Pvc transparent packaging boxes, transparent folding boxes use pollution. Now, using this little bug can be a good solution.