Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 1507–1516 | Cite as

Destabilization of polyethylene and polyvinylchloride structure by marine bacterial strain

  • Alka Kumari
  • Doongar R. ChaudharyEmail author
  • Bhavanath JhaEmail author
Research Article


Plastics are recalcitrant and inert to degrade, and destabilization leads to accumulate in the terrestrial and marine ecosystems; need for the development of strategies for reducing these plastic wastes in a sustainable manner would be revolutionary. We studied the bacterial adherence, degradation and destabilization of polyvinylchloride (PVC), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) by marine bacterial strain AIIW2 by a series of analytical and microscopic observations over 3 months. Based on 16S rRNA gene sequence and the phylogenetic analysis of the strain AIIW2, it showed 97.39% similarity with Bacillus species. Degradation of plastics was determined by the weight loss after 90 days with bacterial strain which detected up to 0.26 ± 0.02, 0.96 ± 0.02, and 1.0 ± 0.01% for PVC, LDPE, and HDPE films, respectively over initial weights. The mineralization of plastic film was found to be maximum in LDPE followed by HDPE and PVC. Bacterial interaction had increased roughness and deteriorated the surface of plastics which is revealed by the scanning electron microscope and atomic force microscope. Bending vibrations of the alkane rock chain (–CH2 and –CH3) and carbonyl (–CO) regions in LDPE and HDPE films, while there was slight stretching in the hydroxyl (–OH) regions of carboxylic acid in PVC which is evidenced through Fourier transform infrared spectral studies, suggested the oxidative activities of the bacteria. Though, the bacterial activity was higher on the LDPE and HDPE than PVC film which may be due to the presence of chlorine atom in PVC structure making it more versatile. The results of the present study revealed the ability of marine bacterial strain for instigating their colonization over plastic films and deteriorating the polymeric structure.


Bioremediation; HDPE LDPE Marine bacteria Plastics waste Polyvinyl chloride 


Funding information

CSIR-CSMCRI Communication No.: PRIS-174/2017. This work is financially supported by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi (CSC0120-Waste to Wealth).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11356_2018_3465_MOESM1_ESM.docx (261 kb)
Fig. S1. Colonies of marine bacterial strain AIIW2. (DOCX 261 kb)
11356_2018_3465_MOESM2_ESM.docx (16 kb)
Table S1. Screening of marine bacteria for plastic utilization. (DOCX 15 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biotechnology and Phycology DivisionCSIR-Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research InstituteBhavnagarIndia
  2. 2.Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR)Council of Scientific and Industrial ResearchNew DelhiIndia

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