Anila Sadan, Archana Vaishnava and Varsha Mondal
Plastics have been widely used as a packing material in the form of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) they are very versatile in nature, cost efficient and facile. However, they are not decomposable and resistant to microbial attack which is a major cause of persistent and long-term environmental pollution. In this study, the isolation of polythene degrading microorganisms was done from plastic wastes dumped site. The effect of the pre-treatment on the biodegradation of polythene was analyzed during one month of incubation period in liquid (shaker) culture method. To check the efficiency of biodegradation, weight method was performed. The bacterial species found associated with the degrading materials were found to be as Gram-positive cocci and Gram-negative rods; and these were identified as Staphylococcus simiae and Proteus vulgaris with the help of an online advanced bacterial identification software. Several biochemical assays were performed to determine the effective biodegradation of polyethylene bags. This work reveals that Proteus vulgaris possess greater potential to degrade polythene as compared to Staphylococcus simiae. Proteus vulgaris showed better degradation efficiency in case of both pre-treated and untreated samples, proving to be a potent microbe in degrading polythene.
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