Once it's created, plastic (almost) never dies. While in 12th grade Miranda Wang and Jeanny Yao went in search of a new bacteria to biodegrade plastic -- specifically by breaking down phthalates, a harmful plasticizer. They found an answer surprisingly close to home.


After a visit to a plastic-filled waste transfer station last year, students Miranda Wang and Jeanny Yao learned that much of the plastic in trash may not degrade for 5,000 years. Synthesized into plastics are phthalates, compounds that make shower curtain liners, food wraps and other products bendable but may also adversely impact human reproductive development and health. As plastics slowly break down, these phthalates would leach into the surrounding environment.


So, the two young scientists tackled the problem and ultimately discovered strains of bacteria that have the potential to naturally degrade phthalates. Their work earned a regional first place in British Columbia for the 2012 Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada, as well as a special award for the most commercial potential at the contest’s finals.

 

Share this page...
Become a Fan of Inspiration Green

 

 

 

Additional Posts
Showing 1 - 20 of 652 Articles
< Previous 123456789101112131415161718192021222324252627282930313233 Next >
The Organic Effect
 
study conducted by the Swedish Environmental Research Institute
Microbeads
 
Tiny plastic microbeads go down the drain...
Save Monarchs
 
Milkweed destroying herbicide Dow Enlist.
Elephant Rescue
 
Elephant calf rescued from well in Kerala, India.
Denial 101
 
Denial 101. Making Sense of Climate Science Denial .
Rescued Tigers Swim
 
the first time they are able to feel what it's like to swim!
SkyGlow
 
Save the night sky - urban light pollution.
Stand For Trees
 
Stand For Trees. Dear Future Generations: Sorry - Prince Ea.
Tiny Fish Endure
 
Tiny Fish Endure Big Collapses—How We Can Help?
Sea Otters vs. Urchins
 
Sea Otters vs. Urchins in Canada's Kelp Forests.
Where did the oil go?
 
NRDC Where did the oil go?
Sperm Whale
 
2000 feet down.
How a Grain of Sand
 
How a grain of sand rewrote our ocean's history Andrew Wheeler. TEDxDublin.
Rebuilding Eco-Infrastructure
 
Rebuilding eco-infrastructure: Kate Orff at TEDxGowanus
Floating Cities
 
Top 10 trends towards floating cities.
Dance of the Honey Bee
 
Dance of the Honey Bee. Narrated by Bill McKibben
Rachel Carson Award
 
Kaiulani Lee 2014 Rachel Carson Award Honoree.
Nesting Seabirds
 
Patagonian Seabirds
Benefits of Being Outside
 
The Health Benefits of Going Outside
Where's the Milky Way?
 
What Happened to the Milky Way?
 
Showing 1 - 20 of 652 Articles
< Previous 123456789101112131415161718192021222324252627282930313233 Next >