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Plastic waste in space getting recycled

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Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Plastic waste is an ongoing problem not only on Earth but in space also. A team of scientists in renowned organisations is now testing a novel way to convert discarded plastic in space into useful material.

For example NASA is experimenting with space management in space through the reactor project. The system will subject waste material from space to high temperatures to convert it into usable material. As part of the waste to base materials program, a team of scientists recently built reactors that successfully converted space debris into useful gas. In another example,

Scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory are also developing a machine that turns plastic into a material usable in space itself. In this experiment the PET ace enzyme breaks down Poly Ethylene Terephthalate (PET) plastic into its basic components of terephthalic acid, (which initiates the entire process of recycling PET in space).

The acid is then fed to bacteria, which convert it into another compound that can be used to make useful nylon. Scientists have already launched a soup of bacteria and enzymes into space as part of an autonomous system designed to convert plastic waste into usable material. The most promising aspect of the latest experiment is that it works completely autonomously, allowing the bacterial soup to slowly break down the plastic, according to latest news reports.

Vijaykumar H K (Environmentalist)

Raichur, Karnataka

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