Tailor-made enzymes poised to propel plastic recycling into a new era

Plastics are exceptionally useful materials for packaging and all kinds of consumer items, but poorly managed plastic waste contributes to land and ocean pollution. This problem can, in principle, be prevented by recycling (Fig. 1). However, many plastic products were not designed for mechanical recycling, which involves melting and reprocessing, and therefore produces lower-quality material than the original plastic.

Competing Interests

E.U.T.v.V. is a senior contract researcher working at Wageningen Food & Biobased Research, a CRO of Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands. As a contract researcher in the fields of food packaging and plastic packaging waste recycling, he deals a lot with ‘fast-moving consumer goods’ industries that use packaging. He is also asked to give his expert opinion on what ‘sustainable packages’ are and what the best choice is for those companies. These expert opinions have hitherto not dealt with the enzyme technology described in the paper by Lu et al., or other enzyme technologies, because these technologies were simply insufficiently advanced. Therefore, it is his interest as a packaging and recycling technologist to see these innovations reach maturity.

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