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Bioprospecting of gut microflora for plastic biodegradation

The problem of plastic prevalence and associated pollution has grasped the entire planet drastically, putting all fields of science on the stake seeking remedies to this global havoc. To address this crisis, with a single remediation strategy is often found to be baseless, thereby much interest has been evoked in the development of multidisciplinary approaches – involving physico-chemical and biological strategies to nullify the aftermath of plastic pollution in all possible means. Even amidst, the availability of different approaches, the use of biological methods to combat plastic degradation has gained momentum. The most frequently used plastics appear in wide forms such as polyethylene plastic bags, polypropylene-based bottles, polyvinyl chloride pipes and polystyrene styrene cups. Plastic nicknamed as one of the toughest polymers viz. polycarbonate, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and Polydicyclopentadiene; quite often are called so as they resist degradation in normal environmental strategies. They are often degraded in non-hostile and harsh environments of pH, temperature, radiation etc. However, not always it is possible to create such harsh environments for plastic degradation. In such a scenario, the use of gut microbes that can withstand the harsh atmosphere of gut environment could serve as promising candidates for plastic biodegradation. The current article envisages the various gut microbes of various biological agents and their role in plastic remediation. The current review compiles the techniques available for plastic remediation, the microbial prospects of plastic remediation, its challenges, and possible breakthroughs to effective plastic remediation.