Self-eating plastic could be the answer to the worldwide litter crisis.

Self-eating plastic could solve the litter crisis

Self-eating plastic could solve the litter crisis

The new material has a unique extra ingredient in the form of dormant bacteria that will consume it once the plastic has been discarded.

Trials showed how the microbes were revived when covered with a sterile compost before degrading the plastic in around five months.

The self-digesting plastic could be used to tackle the alarming rise in the volume of plastic waste being created - which is estimated to have doubled worldwide since 2000.

Jon Pokorski, a professor of Nanoengineering at the University of California, San Diego, said: "Dormant bacteria are integrated in the plastic. When they are exposed to nutrient sources, like water and sugar, they begin to replicate. As they grow and divide they break down the plastic.

"We used sterilised compost but there should be sufficient carbon sources and water in most types of soil."

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