Recent Trends and Advances in the Biodegradation of Conventional Plastics

  • Naba Kumar Kalita
  • Ajay Kalamdhad
  • Vimal KatiyarEmail author
Part of the Materials Horizons: From Nature to Nanomaterials book series (MHFNN)


With the increasing use of fossil-based plastics worldwide, the need for proper disposal of plastic waste has become a menace for developing countries as well as the developed world. The overuse of plastic and its improper disposal system in many countries of the world has led to severe environmental concerns. Disposal system and methods of plastic through various chemical and physical processes are very expensive which also produces organic pollutants, resulting in environmental deterioration. Recent trends suggest the biodegradation of conventional plastics like polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyethylene (PE), and polystyrene (PS) under different environments like using enzymes and microbes for disintegration and assimilation, respectively, as a viable bioremediation. Among enzymes, lipases, cutinases, and PETase has been identified as potential fossil-based plastic degrader as viable solution. This chapter aims to provide a broader aspect of conventional plastic biodegradation and its degradation mechanisms, providing an overview on viable bioremediation of plastic waste. This chapter also discusses the current status of the techniques used for degradation, characterizing degraded plastics and factors affecting their biodegradation.


Biodegradation Enzymes Conventional plastics Mechanism 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Naba Kumar Kalita
    • 1
  • Ajay Kalamdhad
    • 2
  • Vimal Katiyar
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology GuwahatiGuwahatiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Civil EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology GuwahatiGuwahatiIndia

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