Microbial Degradation Alchemy of Plastics: An Overview of Bacteria and Fungi Responsible for Biodegradation of Plastics


  • Ana-Maria Căploiu University of Life Sciences King Mihai I from Timisoara, 300645 Timisoara, Romania
  • Teodor Vintilă University of Life Sciences King Mihai I from Timisoara, 300645 Timisoara, Romania
  • Nicolae Corcionivoschi Bacteriology Branch, Veterinary Sciences Division, Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, Belfast BT4 3SD, UK
  • Igori Balta University of Life Sciences King Mihai I from Timisoara, 300645 Timisoara, Romania


plastic biodegradation, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), plastic-decomposing microorganisms


Plastics have increasingly dominated our material landscape due to their widespread use. With the surge in the production and distribution of plastic products, the threat of global plastic pollution has escalated. This issue has increasingly alarmed environmental researchers due to the pronounced negative impacts on flora and fauna. As research efforts intensify worldwide, there is encouraging advancement in pinpointing and comprehending microorganisms capable of breaking down these plastics. The recent studies depicted microbial entities for their remarkable capabilities in tackling plastic waste. Among these are bacteria from the genera Ideonella, Pseudomonas, Enterobacter and Brevibacillus, as well as fungi, especially those from the genera Aspergillus and Penicillium which have showcased promising results in degrading plastics This scholarly review aims to clarify the lasting understanding concerning the biodegradation of polymeric materials. We delve into the different roles of specific microorganisms adept at plastic degradation, highlighting the enzymatic capabilities they employ. Additionally, we explore the environmental implications of leveraging microbial degradation as a sustainable approach to mitigating plastic pollution, offering insights into future research directions and applications.


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