In a major breakthrough, the Queensland University research team has found that plastic pollution can be controlled with its “DNA”. Researcher Barner Kowollik has said that tracing the polluting plastic back to its source is a big challenge to tackle the plastic pollution crisis, reported ANI. “The anonymity of the plastic waste could be resolved through tracing its sources,” Kowollik said.
“Plastic could be traced back to the producer, if a technology had existed that facilitated giving unique “DNA” to each bunch of plastic that was produced. The information stored in DNA could be simply read out,” Kowollik was quoted as saying by ANI.
He further said that the advancement in polymer chemistry could play a significant part to identify plastic.
The report claimed that there could be a solution. If batches of plastic production are chemically labeled using sequence-defined polymers, they could be decoded in a similar way to DNA. However, reading information from sequence-defined polymers is at this point challenging. Meanwhile, new technologies for reading information from such sequence-defined polymers embedded into plastics are coming out.
The researchers are Dr Hope Johnson, Dr Lewis Chambers, Dr Joshua Holloway, Annastasia Bousgas, Professor Afshin Akhtar, Associate Professor James Blinco, and ARC Laureate Fellow Professor Christopher Barner Kowollik.
For a broader conversation, the researchers said that their papers should be considered as a “discussion starter”. However research is done with focus, a broader lens is needed sometimes, said Barner Kowollik as quoted by ANI.