Project Title: Multidimensional characterisation of plastic waste biodegradation mechanisms in the municipal solid waste landfill
Project No: lzp-2022/1-0299
Period: 1 January 2023 – 31 December 2025
Project costs: 300 000, 00 EUR
Principle Investigator: Dr.biol. Ineta Kalniņa
Collaboration partner: University of Latvia
Amounts of plastic waste produced annually reach 353 million tons from which 50 % are dumped in landfills and 22 % evade waste management systems and end up in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Harmful effects of plastic are associated with direct physical impact, leakage of additives and increased bioavailability pollutants absorbed by plastic. Biodegradation based technologies are viewed as a promising environmentally friendly approach for plastic waste processing. Since landfills contain rich, yet understudied, consortia potentially comprising effective biodegradors, the goal of the project will be exploration of microbial communities residing in landfill to assess their plastic-degradation potential within the landfill ecosystem. To reach the goal taxonomic and functional diversity of landfill microbiome will be investigated along with physicochemical characteristics of landfill samples. Subsequently, plastic biodegradation abilities of microorganisms isolated from waste samples will be evaluated under different conditions during in vitro experiments. Outcomes of the project will include information on structure and functional potential of landfill microbial communities and contribute to our understanding of mechanisms underlying biodegradation of plastics. Obtained results will be of practical value in biotechnology particularly in design of sustainable solutions for bio-processing plastic to dispose of waste and to produce products of added value.
Information published 02.01.2023.