Researchers at Yale University have discovered a fungus called Pestalotiopsis microspore that can eat plastic, with the hopes that it will help break down the amount of plastic in landfills. The fungus comes from the Amazon rainforest and eats polyurethane, the plastic that has stumped scientists who have been working on decomposing the stubborn material.

By extracting the enzyme from the fungus, the Yale researchers plan to harness its decomposition properties to bioremediate—use microorganisms to rid the environment of pollutants.

In an air-less environment, the fungus can grow larger, and the Yale researchers envision cultivating it in a controlled environment to consume landfill buildup. But some are concerned that it could eventually eat through any materials used to contain it.

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