By Sadia Karim
Each ecosystem has its survival cycle. If a new out-casted species is introduced to an ecosystem, the survival chance of the existing species along with the new species will be at stake. The new plastic-eating microbe follows a similar pattern, researchers have been conducting experiments to see the success rate of the new super enzymes’ productivity and are discussing producing such enzymes to clean up the ocean pollution.
Researchers are stating that the new super enzyme has been successful in degrading the waste plastic bottles by 90% within 10 hours. It is believed that the plastic-eating enzymes can break down natural fibers that would allow mixed materials to be fully recycled for the first time.
Even though the new super enzymes are hoped to be mitigating the climate crisis, there are still obscure agendas that are perhaps not being highlighted.
The plastic-eating enzymes have always been sustained in the economy and researchers are conducting experiments on it for a while, so it is yet to be sure if they will not affect the environment adversely. For example, if these new super enzymes are introduced to the ocean for cleaning up the waste plastic pollution, they may also affect the ocean species unfavorably.
Even if the ocean’s ecosystem is not disrupted by the introduction of these new enzymes, it is still a matter of concern for human ecology. The novel Covid-19 pandemic is a prodigy of the disruption of nature. Thus, if the enzymes are absorbed by the ocean species and supplied to the food cycle for the society, there is no guarantee that these enzymes will not have catastrophic results just like the recent pandemic.
Therefore, before calling these super enzymes a blessing for controlling the climate crisis it is safe to assume for the worst before introducing it to a new ecosystem. The novel pandemic should be a lesson for us to stop making such rash disruption to the ecosystem.
However, with resourceful and efficient research these new super enzymes can help to control the climate crisis at a larger extent in the long run, so introducing them before proper research can stand as a peril to the human society.
About The Author:
Sadia Karim is a second year student studying Economics at East West University.
Carrington, D., 2020. New Super-Enzyme Eats Plastic Bottles Six Times Faster. [online] the Guardian. Available at: <https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/sep/28/new-super-enzyme-eats-plastic-bottles-six-times-faster> [Accessed 13 December 2020].