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Mission planet clean-up

New discoveries offer hope but it's a long road from lab to industrial processes

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Devangshu Datta
We produce over 300 million tons of assorted plastics every year. Most of this consists of stuff that is thrown away after use. Unfortunately, plastic garbage isn’t easily decomposed. A water bottle made of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) takes 450 years or longer, to decompose naturally. About a million such bottles are sold, every minute. 

This immunity to biodegradation is precisely why plastics are considered miracle materials and used for many purposes. Plastic of different types is ideal for packing food, medicines and anything else that has to be protected from the environment.  

But that immunity is also why there is a region
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First Published: Apr 27 2018 | 6:00 AM IST

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