What’s being done about the plastic waste problem?

A recent article by the Guardian talks about a newly engineered super-enzyme which can consume plastic six times faster than previously developed enzymes and at room temperature, enabling some types of plastic waste to be fully recycled.

Researchers in this field interviewed for this article seemed very optimistic about this development. Saying, if better and faster enzymes can be linked and mass-produced by leading companies through partnerships, this solution can be implemented quickly to help reduce more of the plastic pollution plaguing the planet.

Naturally, they also add that the solution to the plastic waste problem is heavily reliant on the reduction of plastic usage. Although, the ability to fully recycle plastics can provide a more sustainable lifecycle for the strong, lightweight and versatile material.

Using a powerful patent database such as PatBase, you can easily run a landscape analysis across a huge database of over 140 million patent documents, to unveil market insights such as “Is this a growing area of interest?”, “Who are the biggest players?”, and “What are the most popular technologies?”. Requiring just some general research about the field to create a search query that encapsulates the patents of interest.

Is this a growing area of interest?

This question can be answered by looking at patent application data. The rate of applications filed over time shows the investment into the field of technology in recent years. In the chart below, generated on PatBase Analytics V3, there is a very noticeable peak in applications in 2001.

It is possible that this peak was caused by the growth in general awareness of plastic pollution following the discovery of “plastic soup” in the ocean by sailor Charles Moore in 1997, which was then confirmed by scientists in 2001. In the same year, Moore published a study entitled “Plastic outweighs plankton 6:1”.

Who are the biggest players?

On PatBase Analytics V3, you can also run an analysis to see the biggest players in the field by looking at the top assignees. In the graph below, Kimberly-Clark and French company Carbois, an innovator in the circular economy of plastics, are the two biggest players based on a patent search for plastic decomposing enzymes.

What are the most popular technologies?

Handily, PatBase Analytics V3 also has a landscape feature which shows the most frequently occurring concepts within a patent search result set. This automatically generated 3D landscape uses altitude to show the popularity of concepts, with the highest (mountain) points being the most popular and the lowest (sea-level) points as the relatively less popular concepts.

Make the most of PatBase today!

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Interested in getting started with PatBase? Click this link to learn more about PatBase and register for a commitment-free two-week free trial: https://minesoft.com/our-products/patbase/

Read “New super-enzyme eats plastic bottles six times faster” on The Guardian here: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/sep/28/new-super-enzyme-eats-plastic-bottles-six-times-faster