I first became truly horrified at America’s addiction to plastic and its already-hugely deleterious effects when I read Best Life’s stunning piece on our Plastic Ocean. One of the most dangerous elements of plastic is that it almost never goes away. Plastic bags are made of polyethylene, which micro-organisms don’t break down like organic material. They can also be poisonous, making for a dangerous combination not only for nature, but also for humanity.

WCI student isolates microbe that lunches on plastic bags

WCI student isolates microbe that lunches on plastic bags

Since then, I’ve tried my best to reduce my usage of plastic in all aspects of my life, whether it be bringing a reusable bag to the supermarket or cutting down on the amount of bottled water I buy. Nonetheless, as shockingly depicted by Chris Jordan, America’s collective usage of plastic continues unabated.

Enter Daniel Burd, a 16-year old boy who isolated the microorganisms that degrade plastic…as part of a science project:

Daniel, a 16-year-old Grade 11 student at Waterloo Collegiate Institute, got the idea for his project from everyday life. “Almost every week I have to do chores and when I open the closet door, I have this avalanche of plastic bags falling on top of me,” he said. “One day, I got tired of it and I wanted to know what other people are doing with these plastic bags.”The answer: not much. So he decided to do something himself.

Could this be the first step to ending our plastic problem? What do you guys think?

Read the Link for details on Daniel’s experiments.