Indexed on: 25 Nov '14Published on: 25 Nov '14Published in: PloS one
In this study, we evaluated the growth of Pleurotus ostreatus PLO6 using oxo-biodegradable plastics as a carbon and energy source. Oxo-biodegradable polymers contain pro-oxidants that accelerate their physical and biological degradation. These polymers were developed to decrease the accumulation of plastic waste in landfills. To study the degradation of the plastic polymers, oxo-biodegradable plastic bags were exposed to sunlight for up to 120 days, and fragments of these bags were used as substrates for P. ostreatus. We observed that physical treatment alone was not sufficient to initiate degradation. Instead, mechanical modifications and reduced titanium oxide (TiO2) concentrations caused by sunlight exposure triggered microbial degradation. The low specificity of lignocellulolytic enzymes and presence of endomycotic nitrogen-fixing microorganisms were also contributing factors in this process.