Polystyrene is a strong plastic, which can be injected, extruded or blowmolded.
More than 14 million metric tons of polystyrene are produced annually, and it's estimated that expanded polystyrene products make up about 25 to 30% of space in landfills around the world. Due to its chemically stable nature it is expected to remain there for hundreds of years. As a result, many cities around the world have banned the use of polystyrene food packaging.
A group of students at England-based University of Leicester believe one solution to reducing waste is simply planting polystyrene.
The students are participating in the International Genetically Engineered Machine competition (iGEM), a science competition designed to give students real research experience by building a genetically modified microorganism that can do something useful.