Enzymatic Degradation of Polyethylene and Polyethylene Terephthalate: A Mini Review


  • Homayoon Raoufi Faculty of Agriculture, University of Kunduz, Kunduz, Afghanistan
  • Shirullah Taqwa Faculty of Environment, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
  • Fahima Fagiryaar Faculty of Environment, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran




Polyethylene, Polyethylene Terephthalate, Biodegradation, Microbes, Enzymatic Degradation


Polyethylene (PE) and Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) are the most widely used plastics for many purposes, including packaging, textiles, medicine, engineering, the electronic industry, etc. Among existing approaches to manage and recycle plastic waste, the enzymatic method is promising due to its quality in the environment, low energy consumption, lack of hazardous chemical elements, and expansive machinery. Several enzymes produced by a group of microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi, and algae, play a significant role in this method. These enzymes can depolymerize plastic’s polymer when they are released by the microbes on the plastic surface under suitable conditions. This study was conducted by surveying the published articles on PubMed and Elsevier. We searched the TS (topic search) in the webs and applied some criteria and filters, such as text availability (“The free full text”) and publication date (“5 years”). Based on the TS “PE”, “PET” and “enzymatic degradation”, the articles were selected. Among hundreds of articles, we chose only 26 to review. Several enzymes (e.g., cutinase, lipase, laccase, PETase, and esterase) that can degrade PE and PET have been reported in the literature, and they are isolated from microorganisms that are categorized into fungi, bacteria, and algae.


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How to Cite

Raoufi, H., Taqwa, S., & Fagiryaar, F. (2023). Enzymatic Degradation of Polyethylene and Polyethylene Terephthalate: A Mini Review. American Journal of Environment and Climate, 2(3), 41–50. https://doi.org/10.54536/ajec.v2i3.1937