Team:ULaVerne Collab

A Bio Solution to Plastic Pollution

We are a team from the University of La Verne in La Verne, California. This year we are interested in tackling one of the most prevalent issues that are not widely acknowledged, which is microplastic pollution. Microplastics are tiny plastic particles that are smaller than 5 mm in diameter. They easily leach out from plastic materials of different types under seconds or over a span of years. Currently, the ocean has been dramatically accumulating more microplastic each day, which we found to be attributed to one major source of concern, which is the wastewater treatment plants across the globe. In our project, we aim to degrade PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) microplastic at the source by introducing E. coli that containing enzyme PETase that was recently improved at two binding sites by Yoshida. If thoroughly tested and successful, these microbes are hoped to be implemented to the wastewater treatment plant and potentially to other sources of pollution, such as domestic washing machines and more.

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