Help support the movement for refillable technology in your local retail stores.

New ‘Cocktail’ of Enzymes Can Digest Plastic, Potentially Enabling Endless Reuse

PETase - Credit: Martin Künsting/HZB
(Photo Credit: Martin Künsting/HZB)

The global environmental crisis created by our dependence on plastic isn’t going away anytime soon. However, a new super-enzyme could help reduce its damaging effects on the environment. A team of scientists have re-engineered the plastic-consuming enzyme into a cocktail that digests plastic up to six times faster.

In 2016, Japanese researchers discovered PETase, a rubbish dwelling bacterium that digests PET. PET (or polyethylene terephthalate) is the most common thermoplastic in use today. Scientists believe this bacterium naturally evolved, enabling it to digest PET plastics back down into its original building blocks so it can be reused. Another enzyme called MHETase, has now been combined with PETase and has created a “super-enzyme”. The combination is capable of increasing the speed of the breakdown by six times that of using PETase alone. Between the two bacterium, researchers found that plastics can potentially be transformed into a renewable resource through endless creation and reuse.

While most PET (used to make single-use drink bottles, clothing, carpet and much more) can take hundreds of years to break down, this new cocktail of enzymes could shorten the time to days. A breakthrough of this magnitude would be a giant leap forward in finding more sustainable solutions to handle plastic waste.


As wonderful as these breakthroughs could be, the most sustainable solution to the problem of single-use plastic is to break our reliance. Technologies exist today to provide refill stations at your favorite store, but retailers don’t believe we want them. Join the over 73,000 who have signed our petition to prove them wrong! Help us send the message that #WeWantRefill!

 

JOIN THE MOVEMENT!

It's time to tell retailers and manufacturers that we want new technologies to replace plastic waste.

The government hasn't taken the steps necessary to ban plastic waste so it's up to us - the consumer - to petition retailers and manufactures for change.

The technologies exist to create refill stations at your local retail store so why you haven't seen them? Retailers and manufacturers are hesitant to install refill stations because it's a huge industry shift and, most importantly, they have no idea that consumers want it.

When it comes to change, consumers have to take charge. It's time for you to get involved and tell retailers and manufactueres that #WeWantRefill.

The #WeWantRefill movement is gaining momentum, but more must be done. To show retailers how serious you are about using refill technology, please take a minute to sign this petition to send a clear message to retailers that it's time to refill, not waste.

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We will never share or sell your information. This petition will be sent to popular retailers and manufacturers to show them that we do care about the planet and want change! Occasional updates will be emailed to update you on the progress of the campaign.

Join in the conversation!

Share your thoughts about refilling household products and let consumer brands and retailers know that you want the choice to keep plastic out of landfills!