Inventions and innovations to help address the landfill crisis

In our blogs, we often highlight exciting new inventions and innovations in the green movement. There are many great innovations all the time to help reduce waste and recycle precious resources. We, ourselves, at EcoSmart Products are celebrating a milestone this week with 10 million disposable markers saved from the landfill by AusPen customers!! But there's another story in the news that has grabbed my attention... from a high school science fair. Like most people, I associate science fair projects with paper mache volcanoes and menthos/diet coke explosions. A girl in my neighborhood did her science fair project on which insects her lizard preferred to eat. You decide: the makings of a young biologist, or a girl multi-tasking by feeding her pet AND completing her science project? (Either way, she's pretty smart.) But another science fair kid upped the ante a few notches when he made a significant step towards addressing our global waste problem. [caption id="attachment_1982" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Daniel Burd discovers microbe that 'eats' plastic"][/caption] Sixteen-year-old Daniel Burd discovered a microbe that eats plastic - a discovery that holds great potential to help solve our landfill and plastic crisis. The Canadian high school student was able to create a yeast solution that encouraged microbial growth and then isolated the strains most effective at breaking down plastic. He ultimately achieved a 43% degradation of plastic in 6 weeks. That's an incredible rate! This news story broke some time ago, but was an inspiration to me about the potential of youth to help solve our global environmental problems. While young Daniel Burd would probably agree that reducing our use of short-lived disposable plastic items would be the best approach to the waste crisis, the next best thing seems to be setting plastic-eating microbes on those very items. And it could be the basis for the next big sci-fi thriller!

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