Tailor-made enzymes ready to propel plastic recycling into a new era

Plastics are exceptionally useful materials for packaging and all kinds of consumer items, but poorly managed plastic waste contributes to land and ocean pollution. This problem can, in principle, be avoided by recycling (Fig. 1). However, many plastic products were not designed for mechanical recycling, which involves melting and reprocessing, and therefore produces a lower quality material than the original plastic.

Competing interests

EUTvV is a Senior Contract Researcher working at Wageningen Food & Biobased Research, a CRO of Wageningen University and Research in the Netherlands. As a contract researcher in the areas of food packaging and plastic packaging waste recycling, he deals extensively with the “fast-moving consumer goods” industries that use packaging. He is also asked to give his expert opinion on what “sustainable packages” are and on the best choice for these companies. These expert opinions have so far not addressed the enzyme technology described in Lu’s article. et al., or other enzymatic technologies, because these technologies were simply not advanced enough. It is therefore in his interest, as a packaging and recycling technologist, to see these innovations come to fruition.

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