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By Hannah O’Hanlon
The plastic recycling process could be revolutionised as scientists have enhanced a naturally-occurring enzyme which digests some of the most common pollutants.
The enzyme, known as PETase, starts breaking down PET, a strong, commonly used plastic which takes hundreds of years to decompose naturally, in days.
It is hoped this will contribute to a reduction in plastic pollution, in particular marine litter.
Last weekend, Surfers Against Sewage representative Christie Middleton organised a spring clean at Westport beach to tackle the current problem.
The Courier shared details of the event on Facebook and received comments from some of our followers with their opinions on marine rubbish.
Paul Humphreys said: ‘Litter bins along the beach might help lessen the amount of plastic from being disposed of on the beach.’
Simon Freeman asked: ‘And who’s going to empty them?’
Paul Humphreys responded: ‘How do other countries fund their beach cleaning. Could the council do a beach run with a bin lorry, I really don’t know. It was just a thought, I love that beach.’
Ross McGregor replied: ‘Most of the plastic cleaned from the beach is from marine litter which washes in with the tide. The major problem is the amount of single-use plastics used in everyday life and then discarded.’
Paul Humphreys continued: ‘Other countries clean their beaches on a regular basis by drawing a type of rake pulled by a vehicle on some sort along the high water mark at low tide thereby gathering the marine rubbish together to allow for its collection and disposal.’
Justin Hall said: ‘Love the west coast of Scotland and Campbeltown, being going there for last three decades or more to see family etc, best place ever.’
Mary King added: ‘Wish I was there to help. I love Westport.’
For more on the beach clean, see page 15.
The pristine sands of Westport beach. 25_c30westportbeach01_race_for_life