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Scientists discovered a mushroom that eats plastic and believe it could clean our landfills Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   MTP Reggie 

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 05:18 PM

Scientists discovered a mushroom that eats plastic, and believe it could clean our landfills
Mark Shrayber
06.14.19
Upworthy.com

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Plastic waste is one of the biggest environmental issues of our time. And while a straw ban is not the way we're going to solve it here's why people everywhere are looking for ways to reduce plastic use and mitigate the effects of waste.

From handing out plastic bags with embarrassing labels to removing the plastic from six-packs to harnessing the power of a plastic-eating mutant (bacteria), more and more of us are working to find solutions to a growing global program.

Add one more strange and awesome plastic-killing discover to the list: A rare mushroom that feasts on plastic the same way you or I would when we go to that $5 buffet at Cici's. (I have been only once and I'm still thinking about it, even though just the thoughts are bad for my blood pressure.)

According to reports, the mushroom's plastic-devouring properties were first discovered in 2011, when a team of Yale undergraduates and their professor traveled to Ecuador for a research trip. They found the mushroom Pestalotiopsis microspora in the amazon and were astounded to find that the fungus not only subsists on polyurethane (it's the first plant to sustain itself only on plastic), but could do so without oxygen.

That means it could be planted at the bottom of landfills and happily eat its fill of plastic for eons to come! (Just like us at Cici's pizza!)

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#2 User is offline   erp 

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 05:52 PM

Man, these AOC threads are all over the place. ;)
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#3 User is offline   Dean Adam Smithee 

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Posted 25 August 2019 - 08:01 AM

Recycling is better. And more efficient... IF DONE RIGHT.

Problem is, recycling has been dumbed down to "single stream". Heck just haul THAT to the landfill, because 95%+ is just going to end up there anyway.

Good CLEAN glass? Yes, there's a market for that. But, that half-empty jar of pasta sauce that's gotten moldy and spilled all over everything else? Fuhgeddaboudit. likewise, there's a market for good CLEAN paper, good CLEAN aluminum, etc.

But... the charade of "single stream"? Might as well just call it a second trash can and quit fooling yourselves.
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#4 User is offline   gravelrash 

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Posted 25 August 2019 - 05:47 PM

View PostDean Adam Smithee, on 25 August 2019 - 08:01 AM, said:

Recycling is better. And more efficient... IF DONE RIGHT.

Problem is, recycling has been dumbed down to "single stream". Heck just haul THAT to the landfill, because 95%+ is just going to end up there anyway.

Good CLEAN glass? Yes, there's a market for that. But, that half-empty jar of pasta sauce that's gotten moldy and spilled all over everything else? Fuhgeddaboudit. likewise, there's a market for good CLEAN paper, good CLEAN aluminum, etc.

But... the charade of "single stream"? Might as well just call it a second trash can and quit fooling yourselves.


Recycling used to be profitable. It's when the practice became a public charge. Now it's forced compliance, inefficiency, and pocket liner. A green door into a red world.
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#5 User is offline   Dean Adam Smithee 

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Posted 25 August 2019 - 07:08 PM

View Postgravelrash, on 25 August 2019 - 05:47 PM, said:

Recycling used to be profitable. It's when the practice became a public charge. Now it's forced compliance, inefficiency, and pocket liner. A green door into a red world.


It still is. Good CLEAN recyclables, that is. Problem is, the countries that WERE buying it got tired of being shipped what was essentially land-fill fodder rather than good clean recyclables. Companies will PAY for good clean stuff. And by clean I mean rinsed so no visible food residue and labels removed from glass/plastic containers.

Good clean glass? ~10c/lb. doesn't sound like much, but the lbs add up. Go ahead, fill a pallet-side "bulk cardboard container" aka "gaylord" full of crushed glass and see how much it weighs. (Hint: crushed glass is about 40 lb/ft3. Standard gaylord is 48" x 40" x 36". Y'all can do the arithmetic.)

Good clean PET/HDPE plastic, sorted? ~48c/lb

Good clean aluminum, including crushed beverage cans? ~40c /lb

Good clean copper (old piping/tubing, stripped wires, etc?) $2.09/lb

Assorted Iron/Steel? $160/ton (~8c/lb) but, like glass, the lbs/tons add up quickly.

Marietta Recycling Corp. Scrap Prices. These people wouldn't be paying it if they couldn't make a profit from it.

WalletHacks.com (2018): 9 Surprising Ways to Make Money Recycling

Or, we can foster a franken-microbe to do what people are too stupid/lazy to do for themselves. In my best Michael Madsen voice: "Yeah, well, that ain't gonna end well, is it?"

This post has been edited by Dean Adam Smithee: 25 August 2019 - 07:10 PM

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