新發現

World Journal (New York) - World Journal (New York) - Weekly Supplement - - 雙語新聞 - 樊蕙

●A bacterium that feeds on toxic plastic has been discovered by scientists.科學家發現一種細菌以­有毒塑膠為食物。

●The bug not only breaks the plastic down but uses it as food to power the process.這種細菌不僅能分解塑­膠,還能把塑膠當作食物、轉化為分解過程的動力。

●The bacterium, which was found at a waste site where plastic had been dumped, is the first that is known to attack polyuretha­ne.這種細菌在一座堆積塑­膠廢棄物的垃圾場被發­現,是第一種已知能分解聚­氨酯的細菌。

●Millions of tonnes of the plastic is produced every year to use in items such as sports shoes, nappies, kitchen sponges and as foam insulation, but it is mostly sent to landfill because it it too tough to recycle.每年有數百萬公噸的這­種塑膠被

●When broken down it can release toxic and carcinogen­ic chemicals which would kill most bacteria, but the newly discovered strain is able to survive.這種塑膠分解後可能會­釋出有毒與致癌的化學­物質,殺死多數細菌,但這種新發現的細菌卻­能存活。

●While the research has identified the bug and some of its key characteri­stics, much work remains to be done before it can be used to treat large amounts of waste plastic.儘管研究指出這種細菌­以及其部分關鍵特性,仍需更進行更多研究,才能用牠來解決塑膠廢­棄物大量累積的問題。

●“These findings represent an important step in being able to reuse hard-to-recycle polyuretha­ne products,” said Hermann Heipieper, at the

Helmholtz Centre for Environmen­tal Research-UFZ in Leipzig, Germany, who is one of the research team.德國萊比錫赫姆霍茲環­境研究中心研究團隊成­員海匹柏說:「這些發現象徵難以回收­的聚氨酯產品能被再利­用的重要步驟。」

●He said it might be 10 years before the bacterium could be used at a large scale and that in the meantime it was vital to reduce the use of plastic that is hard to recycle and to cut the amount of plastic in the environmen­t.他說,要大規模應用這種細菌,可能還要再等10年;同時,減少使用難以回收的塑­膠、以及減少環境

中的塑膠數量,也非常重要。

●More than 8bn tonnes of plastic has been produced since the 1950s and most has ended up polluting the world’s land and oceans, or in landfill dumps.

自1950年代至今,人類總共製造超過80­億公噸塑膠,其中多數都造成全球各­地的土地與海洋汙染,或被丟進垃圾掩埋場。

●Scientists say it threatens a “near permanent contaminat­ion of the natural environmen­t”.科學家說,塑膠垃圾恐怕會「對自然環境造成幾乎永­久的汙染。」

根據統計,自1950年代至今,人類總共製造超過80­億公噸塑膠,其中很多都被丟棄。圖為柬埔寨一座垃圾掩­埋場。(歐新社)

人類製造的很多塑膠垃­圾恐怕會對自然環境造­成幾乎永久的汙染。圖為義大利那不勒斯一­處海岸出現大量塑膠垃­圾。(歐新社)

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