Just when you thought that the miracles of the Amazonian forest are all known to man, a team of Yale researchers has just found out that a certain fungus living in the rain forest can actually cure one of the biggest illness and inventions of the 20th century: PET plastics, or polyurethane.
Pestalotiopsis microspora is the name of these fungi, and it seems to like our plastic bottles. Not only that, but they don’t even need the presence of oxygen to feed, which makes them the perfect candidate to release in landfills.
Unlike burning, “treating” the PETs with pestalotiopsis microspora doesn’t emit carbon dioxide and monoxide, so it’s not polluting the air.
If you’d like to read more details on what these fungi can do to plastic (in scientific terms), you can read the journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology and look for the article named “Biodegradation of Polyester Polyurethane by Endophytic Fungi.”