Although plastics have given a lot to mankind, the world is struggling with the waste.
Dutch DNA and Leiden University will start a project in the first quarter of next year on the enzymatic recycling of plastic. The project, BACK TO MONO (or in short B2M), should deliver new enzymes that can degrade plastics such that the plastic polymers return back to their original chemical building blocks. The ultimate objective of the project is an industrial process in which those building blocks will be re-used for new products. The project which is co-funded by the Dutch Government – RVO, approved it this week via its subsidy instrument TKI – aims to deliver a proof of principle. More concrete the project aims to deliver a set of enzymes which can do the job as well as a production organisms which shows ability to produce these enzymes. When the project is successful Dutch DNA will proceed with steps towards industrial application: Industry using enzymatic degradation of collected plastic waste to feed in current existing value chain with recycled monomers: back to mono and then back to plastics again!