The partnership will evaluate the biodegradation of PET by previously identified bacteria and new ones to develop an efficient biodegradation process


BGN Technologies and ECOIBÉRIA have collaborated on plastic biodegradation project. (Credit: Adrian Malec from Pixabay)

BGN Technologies, an Israel-based technology transfer company of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), has entered into a research collaboration agreement with Portugal-based ECOIBÉRIA for biodegradation of plastic.

The project is based on research from the team of professor Ariel Kushmaro and professor Alex Sivan from the Laboratory of Environmental Biotechnology and Avram and Stella Goldstein-Goren Department of Biotechnology Engineering at BGU.

Kushmaro and Sivan, along with their team, have been evaluating plastic biodegradation and discovered various bacteria species can biodegrade polyethylene.

The bacteria species was earlier treated as a non-biodegradable plastic due to highly stable carbon−carbon (C−C) bonds of the polymer backbone.

Based on these observations, the research collaboration project will evaluate the biodegradation of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) by previously identified bacteria and new ones.

It will help develop an effective biodegradation process of PET for using the resulted products as raw materials for recycled PET in the future.

ECOIBÉRIA CEO Jorge Lemos said: “ECOIBÉRIA’s mission is to guarantee the sustainability of the production and consumption models and assist in the transition from the linear economy to the circular economy, through the transformation of PET plastic waste into valuable secondary raw materials.”

BGN Technologies business development vice president Shirley Sheffer said: “We are very pleased to partner with ECOIBÉRIA, a leading European company in the field of plastic waste recycling, for further researching this important field.

“This research collaboration holds the potential of implementing future findings into ECOIBÉRIA environmentally-friendly materials and products.”

In May this year, Yorkshire-based packaging specialist Lifestyle Packaging introduced an advanced formula for the biodegradability of plastic packaging in the UK market.