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Plastic-Eating Bacteria: The Unexpected Hero We’ve All Been Waiting For?



Scientist in a Lab (Canva - Stock Image)

The idea would be to grow them in huge facilities where plastic landfills can be brought to be consumed by these miraculous little entities for their main source of energy. So far it would seem that the only plastic that can be broken down by these bacteria is Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) which is used to manufacture an array of products we purchase daily including bottles, containers & clothing. Scientists even plan to get to a point where they can spray the bacteria over piles of plastic that are rapidly collecting in astonishing volumes in our oceans and rivers. But these bold discoveries are still a few years away from becoming a reality. With plastic and other pollutants exponentially on the rise, scientists have predicted that there could be as much plastic in our oceans as fish by 2050. This is a terrifying statistic and one we can easily believe with all the growing evidence.

Bacteria (Canva - Stock Image)

But of course, not everyone is a pioneering scientist on the cusp of a world-altering, environmental discovery and the whole idea of this looming disaster can be very overwhelming for the rest of us mere mortals so my advice would be to start small. Start by making conscience choices in your everyday life that reduce the amount of plastic you and your family use and dispose of everyday. You gotta be “woke” as the kids call it these days.


Hands hugging a tree (Canva - Stock Image)

Here’s a few tricks I personally use in my everyday life that I’m sure you might find handy as a starting point:

1. Get yourself some reusable material shopping bags and stick a note on your dashboard so you don’t forget them in the boot of your car every time you go shopping (Yes, I know that is everyone’s favorite excuse).

2. Stop buying bottled water. Get a glass/stainless steel/non-leaching plastic water bottle and refill it throughout the day – you’ll probably find that you start drinking more water any way.

3. For a small price increase, you can switch your earbuds & cotton wool rounds to an eco-friendly, plastic-free brand like Cherubs available at Dis-Chem.

4. Enough with the endless disposable coffee cups people! Get yourself a bamboo eco cup and ask your barista to make your favorite morning cuppa in it – most coffee shops welcome this enviro-nerd mindset. It’s cool to care!

5. Glass and metal straws are available in a ton of stores. Paper straws in drinks go together like sand and sushi so stick one of these reusable ones in your handbag/man bag and voila! Gone are the days of the soggy straw.  

6. Tell your favorite takeout spot to keep their plastic utensils out of your order if you’re eating at home. Either they are piling up in your kitchen drawer or in your trash but either way, you don’t need em’!

    Bamboo coffee cups and metal straws (Canva - Stock Image)

    … and last but not least, support local brands like Seaqual who are conscious about what they manufacture and how they manufacture it. Our drains are safe, recyclable and non-leaching and if installed correctly, will last you many years. Injection-moulding machines like the ones used in our factory are known to be far more environmentally friendly and energy efficient forms of production.

    Want to know more? Browse our products page or download a brochure.

    For queries, please email


    Happy Plumbing (and bamboo cup shopping).

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