Plastic is a necessity on which we have become dependent all our lives although it is a product invented in the last century. We have it everywhere as food preservation, in medicine, transport of water, particularly in every aspect of our life.
This material comes handy in everyday life, but it is also very harmful that poisons our planet, the only place that we have for living. Our oceans are packed with plastic endangering every living specie and as well as our water supplies. Although many people have become aware of this situation the use of plastic has still not stopped.
But, it seems that Mother Nature has a solution for everything, namely in 2012 Yale University students have found a mushroom that can solve the issues with plastic. The Pestalotiopsismicrospora is rare specie of fungus that thrives in the rain forest of Amazon. This mushroom believe it or not can thrive solely on plastic turning into an organic matter.
Mushrooms can turn toxic plastic into food
The Pestalotiopsismicrospora kills plastic and can survive without oxygen which means we finally have a product that can clean our planet.
Scientists are developing this idea further more and this could be a great solution for solving all the piling up of trash. We need to set a goal of building mushroom-centered community-composting centers. Moreover, we should have in future our own mini mushroom composting kits.
This type of mushroom is not the only one that can be of great assistance in solving our worldwide problem with plastic, there are also other ones. Katharina Unger from Utrecht University has carried out a study in the Netherlands on the use of mushrooms in dissolving plastic. She and her team had put oyster mushrooms and other varieties in agar cups containing plastic waste. The mushrooms were kept in a climate controlled dome-shaped environment, and after a month the roots from the mushroom have converted the plastic into an edible biomass food substance free from polyurethane.
Unger even tasted the edible product claiming that it was with a nice sweet taste having a scent of anise or licorice. According to Unger the digestion process of the mushrooms will be even quicker if scientists work on its progress. Her research was conducted with her colleagues and it showed great success. This team of scientists believes that very soon this method will be used in communities.
It is of vital importance for our planet and for us as human beings to remove plastic from the nature. The discovery of this mushroom offers a solution for our plastic pile-up and scientists believe that the natural rate of decomposition will be lowered from 400 years to a few months.
Have you heard of “mushroom bricks”?
These pieces of mushroom could be used as building material and were presented at the State of the World’s Fungi 2018 event in Kew Gardens, London.
We need to make a rightful turn in our lives in case of plastic. We can try to choose product items that are not packed with plastic and thus help in protecting the environment.