SCIENTISTS in Brazil’s Institute of Technological Research have discovered a new species of bacteria capable of converting sugar into plastic.

Previously discovered species digest and convert sugar only after it has been broken down into smaller molecules, but the great potential of this [newly discovered bacterium] lies in its ability to metabolize sugar directly.

When overfed, the bacteria use the extra sugar to manufacture minutes grains of biodegradable by using a solvent.

According to the researchers, one kilogram [2.2 pounds] of plastic can be obtained from three kilograms [6.6 pounds] of sugar.