Could fungi be Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in the plastic litter problem?

Plastic litter is not only a problem by itself, but can carry microorganisms and substances that can be harmful to health and the natural environment. Some fungal species are efficient plastic decomposers and here we will elucidate whether plastic litter can be a vector for biocides and harmful microorganisms (Mr. Hyde), and at the same time explore if fungi that sorb to plastic can be used as biodegraders of plastic waste (Dr. Jekyll).

The aim of the project is to give us a better understanding of the challenges associated with the spread of plastic waste in the environment, as well as to use the properties of selected molds to reduce the plastic waste problem.

Project owner: Norwegian Veterinary Institute
Project manager: Prof. Ida Skaar
Collaborating partners: NORCE, NIBIO, Nofima, UC Berkeley, State Key Lab of Mycology (Chi9nese Academy of Sciences), NMBU, Bellona, Norges Bondelag.
Project periode: 2023-2027
Application type: Collaborative Project to Meet Societal and Industry-related Challenges
Public funding: 12,883 mill. NOK