Bio-Enzymatic Degradation with Pectinase Enzyme and Activators of UV-Irradiated Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE)

Regine Bastareche1, Joan Catolico1, Matt Andrew Secular1 and Aris Larroder1
1Philippine Science High School Western Visayas Campus – Bito-on, Jaro, Iloilo City 5000, Department of Science and Technology, Philippines

Low-density polyethylene (LDPE), classified as plastic number four, is a kind of plastic with long degradation period, low recyclability potential, and is harmful to marine habitats. Due to this, LDPE plastic strips were subjected to treatments that can hasten its degradation. They were irradiated to ultraviolet for 14 days. Bio-enzymatic degradation was then conducted using pectinase enzyme with barium, magnesium, and calcium ions as activators. The assessments for the degradation were in terms of weight loss and carbonyl index of the LDPE strips. The pectinase with magnesium activator is the most effective treatment as it was able to show a significant difference with the two parameters.