Although PET plastic is easily recycled in urban areas, remote natural tourist attractions such as beaches in Bali are still under the threat of PET pollution created by tourists and local people due to the deficiency or absence of local plastic recycling systems, poor waste management and particular environmental conditions. In such places, plastic waste easily enters the environment and become difficult to collect, contributing to the 800, 000 tons of plastic that enters the ocean annually.
The leaf compost cutinase (LCC) is a type of enzyme that is able to degrade the PET polymer into TPA and EG, which are valuable materials for PET production. It is currently the most effective and thermostable type of enzyme that can degrade the PET plastic. Comparing to chemical recycling processes, this biological degradation preserves the properties, and therefore, the value of the plastic by depolymerizing it into its ingredients.
Our bacteria and enzyme will be contained in a bin comprised of three parts: the shredder, the power source, and the decomposer. This bin will work by solar power, and serve the purpose of preventing PET from entering the environment in places not covered by recycling systems. Linalool will also be produced by our bacteria to enhance the experience of tourists. The commercial value of TPA and EG will encourage the bin to be maintained by local people.