Biodegradation of polylactides (PLA)
The isolation of the PLA degrading microbes using PLA as the sole carbon source in PLA emulsified plates resulted 16 fungal cultures and 5 bacterial cultures. These cultures were used for biodegradation of PLA films and were checked for their esterase and depolymerase activity. The degradation studies were also done using a standard strain, of Saccharothrix waywayandensis (Figure 3). The degradation was monitored by analyzing various parameters such as lactic acid concentration, TOC, SEM analysis, dry cell weight analysis, pH and residual film weight. Attempts have been initiated to study the enzymatic biodegradation of PLA and to develop a consortium capable of degrading PLA.