Life Hacks

Discovery of plastic-eating mushroom gives hope for our environment

April 15th, 2021

Plastic waste is dangerous not just for us but also for our mother nature.

We are all familiar with the news that talks about the bad effects of plastic pollution. From being the major contributor to climate change to literally killing animals, plastic waste has done so much damage to all of us.

How old are you today?

Did you know that plastic won’t decay? Don’t be surprised to see plastic that is already 25 years old and yet it looks perfectly intact along with its print and form.

Plastic waste is immortal! In fact, it’s almost impossible to break it down naturally; that’s why it fills not just our landfills but also our forests and seas.

Have you seen the news about animals dying because they ingested plastics, thinking they were sea jellies?

In fact, two years ago, a dead Cuvier’s beaked whale washed up ashore in Compostela Valley, Philippines, where the residents found more than 40kgs of plastic waste inside the whale.

These types of photos are heartbreaking.

Do you know what the problem is? We often think that one person’s action towards improper waste management isn’t a big deal.

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Catherine Shiela / Pexels Source: Catherine Shiela / Pexels

Some people think that it’s okay. One plastic bottle won’t cause harm, right?

You’re wrong. Because it seems like everyone has this mindset that ultimately leads to all of this plastic pollution. Is there any hope for us?

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Lucien Wanda / Pexels Source: Lucien Wanda / Pexels

As of today, many people are waking up and trying to make a change. From recycling to reducing the use of plastics – people are doing their best to lessen plastic pollution, but still, we have a long way to go.

Did you know that there is a type of mushroom that can help us?

In 2012, young researchers from Yale University discovered a rare type of mushroom. They discovered it in the Amazon rain forest, and surprisingly, this amazing mushroom can live by consuming plastic alone.

The name of the mushroom is Pestalotiopsis microspora.

This magical mushroom can consume polyurethane, the main ingredient in plastic products, and then converts it to organic matter.

Pestalotiopsis microspora can also thrive even without oxygen!

This mushroom has so much potential and can even lead our scientists in finding a solution for our plastic waste problems.

How can this mushroom help?

Since this type of mushroom doesn’t need oxygen, it can be planted in landfills and allow it to consume the plastic it needs to live. Can you imagine a mushroom that can do that?

Now, a video that was posted four years ago shows the potential of these fungi. As a part of the Fungi Mutarium System, scientists are working on discovering other types of mushrooms that will eat plastic.

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Nature Friend / Pixabay Source: Nature Friend / Pixabay

It’s surprising that even the common oyster mushroom also does the same thing!

The finished product isn’t only non-toxic; it’s also edible and can even be flavored! Now, this scientific breakthrough is really promising, don’t you think so?

Now, we need to wait until they can create a way to use this amazing mushroom to its full potential. It may be an overwhelming task for these mushrooms to get rid of all the plastic wastes, but they can generally help.

The main solution still lies with us. It’s a long road and will take a lot of effort to slowly help Mother Nature, but it’s definitely possible. By reducing the use of plastic – we are already doing our part.

Let us learn more about Pestalotiopsis microspora and how it breaks down plastic here.

Don’t forget to share this great discovery with your friends and family!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Source: Plastic Soup Foundation, YUP, WWF, National Geographic, Tech Insider, Peewee Bacuno