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plastic bottles

Clever Dog Collects Hundreds of Plastic Bottles During Walks – to Recycle Litter and Clean His Town

in Animals 175 views

A clever recycling dog is helping clear the streets of litter by collecting hundreds of plastic bottles during his daily walks.

Scruff, a 13-year-old border collie, has been dubbed “the eco dog” by local residents who love watching him do his part for the environment.

Owners David Grant and Yvonne Faulkner-Grant adopted Scruff from a farm in 2009. Like so many puppies, he loved to play with sticks, but a fear of mouth splinters lead to Yvonne discouraging such behavior. Instead he began to play with plastic bottles.

Years past, and it was 2021 when David and Yvonne first noticed on their walks that their litter-picking hound had a fascination for plastic bottles. He’d pick one up, and carry it until he found another one.

“It seemed wrong that he would pick the bottle up and then drop it again—we thought people would think we were dropping litter,” said Yvonne. “So we got him to start bringing the bottles to us and we put them in a bag and then count them up at the end of the walk.”

The counting began in 2022, as it never occured to their owners before. And after a slow start with just 40 in January, Scruff has now retrieved more than 1,000.

Over the last year, the couple have been sharing their pet’s green credentials on social media using the #scruffsbottlepatrol hashtag.

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Texas Scientists Have Created a Protein That Breaks Down Plastic Bottles

in Enviroment 314 views

A ‘Pac-Man’ protein that gobbles up plastic and breaks it down could open the door to eliminating billions of tons of landfill waste.

The enzyme destroys PET (polyethylene terephthalate), which is ubiquitous in food and drink packaging, textiles, and polyester carpet fibers.

It offers hope for solving global pollution by supercharging recycling on a large scale. Major industries would be able to recover and reuse products at the molecular level.

“The possibilities are endless across industries to leverage this leading-edge recycling process,” said Professor Hal Alper, of The University of Texas at Austin. “Through these more sustainable enzyme approaches, we can begin to envision a true circular plastics economy.”

PET makes up 12 percent of all global waste. Like all plastics, it’s made up of long string-like molecules.

The enzyme reduces them into smaller parts—chemicals which can then be reassembled.

In some cases, the plastics can be fully broken down in as little as 24 hours.

Artificial intelligence, machine learning, generated novel mutations to a natural enzyme called PETase that allows bacteria to degrade PET.

The computer identified those that would be most effective at less than 122 degrees-F (50-C), making it both portable and affordable.

Prof. Alper and his colleagues analyzed dozens of discarded plastic items including containers, water bottles and polyester fibers and fabrics—all made from PET.

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