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Consume Our Consumption


Anya Koehne, Annan Zuo

The gut microbiome of Zophobas morio contains microbes with the novel ability to depolymerize and degrade plastics. To harness this ability, we are culturing frass samples from these organisms to isolate, identify, and amplify the bacteria capable of consuming plastic waste. Samples are cultured in a selective media containing all vital nutrients except for carbon, which is essential for all life. Experimental cultures contain a plastic nurdle as their carbon source; growth is therefore dependent on the microbes’ ability to extract carbon from the plastic through biodegradation.

Inspired by the Zophobas morio's ability to digest plastic, we have developed a speculative medicinal product named "Plascetamol." This probiotic contains microbes capable of depolymerizing plastics, enabling both animals and humans to consume plastic and thereby reduce plastic pollution. By linking eating (consuming) with plastic (consumption), this project envisions a dystopian future where plastic waste is perpetually recycled through ingestion, creating an endless loop of consumption, recycling, and production.

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