PlasticDB - Plastic Biodegradation Database


Item Update
Microorganisms 753
Proteins 219
Last update 13/05/2024
Last addition Protein 00219

New Study on the Global Ocean Microbiome

PlasticDB was used to study the expression of putative plastic-degrading enzymes in the global ocean microbiome. The paper suggests that the expression of these enzymes do not correlate to plastic pollution! Check the paper at:

Collaborate with PlasticDB

We invite researchers, developers, or enthusiasts to contribute to PlasticDB. We are planning on releasing new features and increasing our literature coverage. Please contact us at if you think you can help. Thank you! :)

About PlasticDB

The database currently has 753 species of microorganisms that were reported in the scientific literature to have plastic-degrading capabilities and 219 proteins described to breakdown plastics.

The database is updated bimonthly to keep up with new publications and reports of plastic biodegradation. There are several options for using the data in the database:

If you have any information about microorganisms and proteins that we could use to improve the database, please submit a request to add, remove, or modify. You can also leave any comments in this form and we will get back to you.

If you used our database in your research, please cite: Victor Gambarini, Olga Pantos, Joanne M Kingsbury, Louise Weaver, Kim M Handley, Gavin Lear, PlasticDB: a database of microorganisms and proteins linked to plastic biodegradation, Database, Volume 2022, 2022, baac008, DOI:

Notice: Our database contains information on all peer-reviewed scientific literature we have found which reports the microbial degradation of plastics. Many putative plastic-degrading organisms and enzymes have been reported to date and we provide this information such that it may prompt additional investigation and discovery into the global diversity of possible plastic degrading organisms and enzymes. While our database contains 100+ enzymes associated with the degradation of plastics, a minority of these enzymes (8 enzymes) have not been fully characterised, namely for nylon - 00042, 00043, 00044, 00045, and 00062; for polyethylene - 00061 and 00104, and for polystyrene – 00111. While continuing to provide these data in our database, it remains our belief that no enzymes have been categorically shown to degrade polymeric and crystalline PE, ether-based PUR, PS, PVC or PP; none have been thoroughly characterized on a biochemical, functional or structural level to date. We believe that further research is needed to categorically demonstrate the microbial degradation of these plastics.

References and useful databases:

Latest updates from PlasticDB

New Study on the Global Ocean Microbiome

The expression of plastic-degrading enzymes does not correlate to plastic pollution in the ocean microbiome.

Paper Describing our PlasticDB Web Application

PlasticDB: a database of microorganisms and proteins linked to plastic biodegradation

Paper Describing PlasticDB's Dataset

Phylogenetic Distribution of Plastic-Degrading Microorganisms.

Info on How to Annotate Your Sequences

Check out all options to annotate your data under the menu item "Tools".