New £60m government fund to tackle global plastic pollution

Theresa May announced the fund ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in London next week. She is due to call on all of the 52 leaders present to sign up to the Commonwealth Clea

Scientists have engineered an enzyme which can digest some of the most commonly polluting plastics, providing a potential solution to one of the world's biggest environmental problems.

Bottles made from PET are used to package 70 per cent of soft drinks, fruit juices and water sold in shops, restaurants and supermarkets.

Penny Mordaunt, International Development Secretary, commented: "The scourge of plastics is a global environmental challenge, and one that overwhelmingly impacts the livelihoods and health of the world's poorest people". The trait indicated that PETase may have evolved in a PET-containing environment to enable the enzyme to degrade PET.

For example, the Department for International Development will fund pilot programmes in up to three Commonwealth developing countries to tackle waste from cities that often ends up in waterways.

The scientists generated 3-D imagery to understand how the enzyme works.

The new research sprang from the discovery of bacteria in a Japanese waste recycling centre that had evolved the ability to feed on plastic with a natural enzyme called PETase.

Scientists in Britain and the U.S. have engineered a plastic-eating enzyme that could in future help in the fight against pollution.

Finding the enzyme was helping a bacteria to break down, or digest, PET plastic, the researchers chose to "tweak" its structure by adding amino acids, said John McGeehan, a professor at Portsmouth who co-led the work. The goal was to determine its structure, but ended up going a step further and the team accidentally engineered an enzyme which was even better at breaking down PET. Details of the breakthrough are published in the scientific journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"The technology exists and it's well within the possibility that in the coming years we will see an industrially viable process to turn PET and potentially other substrates like PEF, PLA, and PBS, back into their original building blocks so that they can be sustainably recycled", said McGeehan.

Working with United States colleagues, the Portsmouth scientists subjected PETase to intense X-ray beams at the Diamond Light Source synchrotron facility in Harwell, Oxfordshire.

Professor McGeehan, Director of the Institute of Biological and Biomedical Sciences in the School of Biological Sciences said: 'Few could have predicted that since plastics became popular in the 1960s huge plastic waste patches would be found floating in oceans, or washed up on once pristine beaches all over the world.

Related News:

  • MSFT) — Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ

    MSFT) — Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ

    What is market worth of stock? 162,826 shares were sold by BURROWS CLIFFORD, worth $9.28 million. (NASDAQ:FB) or 55,000 shares. The stock of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT ) has "Outperform" rating given on Friday, January 27 by RBC Capital Markets.
    Reuben Foster will not participate in 49ers team activities

    Reuben Foster will not participate in 49ers team activities

    Investigators said the alleged assault by Foster left his live-in girlfriend bruised and with a ruptured ear drum. He is scheduled to meet with the team this week, a sitdown that could determine his future with the franchise.
    West Ham 1-1 Stoke: Carroll denies Potters joy in London

    West Ham 1-1 Stoke: Carroll denies Potters joy in London

    Stoke's best chance - bar the goal - came moments after Arnautovic's disallowed goal when Diouf blazed over from six yards out. Oliver and his wife were subjected to social media threats over the incident that led to Juventus's elimination.
  • Air defense confront missiles in Homs

    Air defense confront missiles in Homs

    Moscow and Damascus claimed two Israeli fighter planes carried out that airstrike "remotely from Lebanese territory". Iranian news agencies also reported missiles being fired toward Shayrat.
    # 039, President Trump &;s Re Election Effort raised $10 million Thus Much

    # 039, President Trump &;s Re Election Effort raised $10 million Thus Much

    The campaign spent approximately $3.88 million during this time frame-legal fees constituted 20% of the disbursements. It raised $10.1 million in the first three months of 2018, and had $28.3 million in cash on-hand by the end of March.
    California rejects Trump administration plan for National Guard troops on border

    California rejects Trump administration plan for National Guard troops on border

    State insiders with knowledge of the talks spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter. Trump wants to send up to 4,000 troops to the border and has commitments for about 2,400 from those states and California.
  • Russians targeting routers: US, Britain

    Russians targeting routers: US, Britain

    The alert came from the Britain's National Cyber Security Centre, DHS and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation. The DHS also recommends people "retire and replace legacy devices" that can't be updated.
    Miami Heat look to even playoff series

    Miami Heat look to even playoff series

    Embiid, as he is wont to do, took to social media in response to the outcome of the game. "I just want the green light to play". This is not the first time Philadelphia has played it safe with Embiid's on-court health.
    Russian Federation  warns of 'dangerous' escalation over Syria

    Russian Federation warns of 'dangerous' escalation over Syria

    A USA official told Reuters news agency the attacks were aimed at multiple targets and involved Tomahawk cruise missiles. The government, however, said evacuations from Douma were ongoing and no Syrian government forces had entered the town.
  • Colorado teachers prepare for 'Day of Action'

    Colorado teachers prepare for 'Day of Action'

    Berryhill teachers voted to keep the district closed one final day Monday so they could head to the Capitol to advocate. In comparison, Wyoming teachers earn $US58,000 and have a lower cost of living.
    PM arrives in Stockholm to co-host first ever India-Nordic Summit

    PM arrives in Stockholm to co-host first ever India-Nordic Summit

    Our partnership is based on democratic values and commitment to an open, inclusive and rule-based global order. During Modi's visit, it is also expected to launch an Innovation Association India-Sweden.
    US Says Russia May Have Tampered With Chemical Attack Site

    US Says Russia May Have Tampered With Chemical Attack Site

    Some Russian statements indicated that the Syrian events were a false flag and might have been done as a pretext to attack Syria . The military action is not about intervening in Syria's civil war or changing its government, she said.


Most liked

Wetherspoons deletes all social media accounts after constant 'online abuse'
He said that he does not believe that closing the accounts will have any affect on the business "whatsoever". Wetherspoon had amassed a following of some 44,000 on Twitter and over 100,000 on Facebook.

Footage of Douma Attack Staged, so-Called Evidence is 'Fake' - Moscow
Moscow immediately denied the charge and blamed delays on retaliatory US-led missile strikes on Syria at the weekend. It included a visit to the main hospital to which the victims of the alleged chemical attack where taken.

Prosecutor says Meek Mill's case should be thrown out
TMZ reported that if the Philadelphia District Attorney office's wishes are granted, Mill's 2008 conviction would be thrown out. Protesters demonstrate in front of a courthouse during a hearing for rapper Meek Mill , Monday April 16, 2018 in Philadelphia.

Google introducing Snapchat-style self-destructing messages in Gmail
Emails can also be tagged and eliminated from both the recipient's inbox and the sender's sent list after a specified time period. It will give you the option to put a time limit onto an email that you send and after it expires, it will be rendered unreadable.

Vampire Diaries Actor to Star in Netflix's Vampire Series V-Wars
This will be Somerhalder's first time getting back to his garlic-averse roots since last year's The Vampire Diaries series finale. William Laurin and Glenn Davis, creators of the Canadian crime drama 1-800-Missing, will serve as showrunners for the series.

Gwyneth Paltrow shares details of 'incredible' engagement party with Brad Falchuk
Paltrow and Falchuk met when the actress guest-starred on Glee in 2010 and the pair have been dating since 2014, after her split. This will be the second marriage for the actress, who shares two children with ex-husband Chris Martin .

Mourinho: 'We were deservedly punished. We were masters in complication'
He won three league titles with Barcelona and twice lifted the Champions League trophy during his Camp Nou reign. You could see the attitudes of some players, masters of complication.

England win netball gold at Commonwealth Games
England's netball team stunned favourites Australia to take the gold medal in a last-gasp victory at the Commonwealth Games. The leagues in those two countries are professional and their players are so revered that they star in television adverts.

Over 300000 march through Barcelona demanding release of Catalonia leaders
Spanish and German prosecutors met last week at the headquarters of Eurojust in The Hague. The poll surveyed 1,200 people and had a margin of error of 2.8 percent.

One dead in Crozet plane crash
The Federal Aviation Administration said the Experimental Challenger II aircraft took off from a private airstrip around 8:00 p.m. The owner of the property where the crash happened said his wife heard an engine noise followed by a thud around 6:30 am.

Mainz and Freiburg players called back to pitch after VAR-awarded penalty
One goal defined this relegation six-pointer between Mainz and Freiburg on Monday night, and it was an odd one to say the least. Mainz 05 and Freiburg's players are forced to cut their half-time interval short after VAR awards a penalty during the break.

Former Donkey Kong world record holder Billy Mitchell releases official statement
He made his statement to Old School Gamer Magazine and the video in question was uploaded by YouTube user Ryan Burger. They then forwarded the decision to the Guinness World Records committee so they could follow suit.

Manchester City crowned Premier League champions as United suffer West Brom shock
After sacking Alan Pardew at the start of the month, Darren Moore has been handed the West Brom until the end of the season. United had a shout for a penalty on 19 minutes after Ander Herrera was brought down only for the referee to wave play on.

Syrian air defenses respond to missile strike in Homs
Near Damascus, the pro-regime media reported that three missiles had been launched at the Damir airbase close to the capital. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, 71 out of 103 cruise missiles were shot down by Syria's air defense units.

Government Watchdog Says EPA Broke Law With Pruitt Phone Booth
The Department of Justice has not brought charges against under the Antideficiency Act in modern history. The auditors called on EPA to "report its Antideficiency Act violation as required by law".