Biotechnology is a constantly evolving field of science. While it has many benefits, such as reducing our environmental footprint and helping to treat diseases and ailments, it is not without drawbacks. The four main concerns revolve around ethical, security, bioterrorism and environmental issues. Environmental biotechnology has the potential to help mitigate pollution by using microbes and their by-products, rather than chemical methods, to treat solid, liquid and gaseous wastes.
Plastic pollution, one of the most pressing environmental concerns, can also be addressed through biotechnology. For example, some bacterial enzymes can digest the raw material used to produce single-use bottles for beverages. In addition, bioplastics can be produced with renewable raw materials, such as plants, vegetables and other recycled forms of waste, which can be environmentally friendly alternatives to petroleum-based plastics.