Combatting the Plastic Waste Crisis with Enzymes

Researchers at UC Berkeley are working on a solution to solve the global, single-use plastic waste problem by creating a biodegradable plastic. They are doing so by infusing enzymes into the plastic, which cause the material to break down into its original components when submerged in compost or even warm water. The process allows the plastic to self-destruct, so it doesn't end up in landfills, and it does so without creating any harmful micro-plastics. Additionally, Intropic Materials, the university spinoff company that is looking to commercialize this technology, was just named the Grand Prize winner in our 2021 Create the Future Design Contest!