DOI: 10.3390/polym15122673 ISSN: 2073-4360

Biodegradation of Plastics Induced by Marine Organisms: Future Perspectives for Bioremediation Approaches

Thomas Viel, Loredana Manfra, Valerio Zupo, Giovanni Libralato, Mariacristina Cocca, Maria Costantini
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • General Chemistry

Plastic pollution is a distinctive element of the globalized world. In fact, since the 1970s the expansion and use of plastics, particularly in the consumer and commercial sectors, has given this material a permanent place in our lives. The increasing use of plastic products and the wrong management of end-of-life plastic products have contributed to increasing environmental pollution, with negative impacts on our ecosystems and the ecological functions of natural habitats. Nowadays, plastic pollution is pervasive in all environmental compartments. As aquatic environments are the dumping points for poorly managed plastics, biofouling and biodegradation have been proposed as promising approaches for plastic bioremediation. Known for the high stability of plastics in the marine environment, this represents a very important issue to preserve marine biodiversity. In this review, we have summarized the main cases reported in the literature on the degradation of plastics by bacteria, fungi, and microalgae and the degradation mechanisms involved, to highlight the potential of bioremediation approaches to reduce macro and microplastic pollution.

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