Across the planet, debate rages. Are mutants the next link in the evolutionary chain or simply a new species of enzyme fighting for their share of the world?

While so much has changed in the last few weeks, some things are still the same. The dishes still need cleaning, groceries still need to be put away, and the garbage and recycling still need to go out.

There are lots of concerns about how much of the plastic we put out to be recycled is actually being reused.

And in many cases it’s not quite what we imagine it to be.

Recycled bottles, for example, often get turned into material for carpets or clothing rather than new bottles.

But that may be about to change.

A company called Carbios says it’s been using what it calls a “mutant enzyme” to re-think plastic recycling.

They introduced some mutations to a bacterial enzyme that, under the right conditions, can break plastic down into the components to make new plastic.

They were able to break down a ton of the stuff in just 10 hours, which is extremely fast compared to what we usually do.

The company’s goal is to scale up to industrial levels of recycling in just five years, and here’s hoping the enzyme isn’t one of those mutants that eventually decides it really ought to rule humanity for its own good.

And here’s some plastic news that you really can use: you’ve heard by now that doctors are advising us to wear masks over our mouths and noses while in public for the time being.

This is doable, but it does create a problem for deaf and hard of hearing people, since facial expressions are a big part of American Sign Language.

Ashley Lawrence, an education student in Kentucky, found a solution.

She and her mom made some masks that have see-through plastic in the middle.

ASL users can see those expressions while staying safe.

This “Mutant Enzyme” Can Break Down Plastic Bottles In Hours (Futurism)

College student makes masks for the deaf & hard of hearing (

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Photo by Adam Cohn via Flickr/Creative Commons