Biodegradable plastics in natural environment

Screening microorganisms capable of degrading PLA, PHB and PCL by clear-zone methods and by measuring the growth of microorganisms in the medium supplemented with polymers.

Identification of isolated strains based on the phenotypic, biochemical and physiological characteristics together with 16S rDNA sequencing.

Study the polymer degradation of the isolated strains by measuring the total organic carbon (TOC) and measuring the loss of polymer residual in the culture broth.


In recent years, environmental pollution is a major concern of many countries around the world. Pollution caused by plastic waste seems to increase. Use of polymer products that derived from biological sources replaced synthetic plastic products is a new direction in reducing environmental pollution. Bio-plastics aggregated from many different types of polyesters as poly(lactic acid) (PLA), poly(3-hydroxyrate (PHB), poly(ε-caprolactone) … currently have attracted much attention because of their potential application in many fields such as: in packaging, agriculture, medicine, biodegradable plastics and other areas. Biodegradable polymers that were capableof degradation by both microorganisms and enzymes are currently considerable as the sustainable recycling method for polymers.

Microorganism is one of the factors affecting the degradation of bio-polymers. Polymer-degrading microorganisms could be found in different environments such as soil, sea, water, compost, activated sludge… [55]. In this connection, scientists are now focusing on isolation and selection of microorganisms that are able to increase polymer degradation. Recently, various investigations of microbial degradation of polymers have been published [23], [56], [63].

In Vietnam, environmental pollution caused by plastic waste is an alarming issue. The increasing use of bio-polymer products in day life promotes both research and application of polymer-degrading microbes to reduce environmental pollution. Thus, isolation and selection of strains that can degrade bio-polymers were initially carried out. However, information about microorganisms degrading biopolymers and application is still very limited [32], [33], [34]. The topic: “Screening and study on microorganisms degrading biopolymers in Vietnam” was therfore inplemented in order to contribute to solving the existing plastic pollution problem in Vietnam.

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