Bacteria-sized robots take on microplastics and win by breaking them down

Small pieces of plastic are everywhere, stretching from urban environments to pristine wilderness. Left to their own devices, it can take hundreds of years for them to degrade completely. Catalysts activated by sunlight could speed up the process, but getting these compounds to interact with microplastics is difficult. In a proof-of-concept study, researchers developed self-propelled microrobots that can swim, attach to plastics and break them down.