Published Date2019-02-01
JournalMicrobiology (Reading, England), 2019-02-01, Volume 165 Find other publications in this journal
Author Info
  • 1​BEACON - Bioeconomy Research Centre, Ireland, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
  • 2​UCD Earth Institute and School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.


The strength, flexibility and light weight of traditional oil-derived plastics make them ideal materials for a large number of applications, including packaging, medical devices, building, transportation, etc. However, the majority of produced plastics are single-use plastics, which, coupled with a throw-away culture, leads to the accumulation of plastic waste and pollution, as well as the loss of a valuable resource. In this review we discuss the advances and possibilities in the biotransformation and biodegradation of oil-based plastics. We review bio-based and biodegradable polymers and highlight the importance of end-of-life management of biodegradables. Finally, we discuss the role of a circular economy in reducing plastic waste pollution.