PETase enzymes breaking down plastic, illustration

PETase enzymes breaking down plastic, illustration

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Credit: JUAN GAERTNER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: PETase enzymes (blue) breaking down plastic, illustration. PETase is a bacterial enzyme that breaks down PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastics (red and white, left) to monomeric molecules (upper right). The whole bacterial degradation process yields terephtalic acid and ethylene glycol, which are environmentally harmless.

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