Plastic-eating bacteria discovered, 13-year-old chemist wins prize

Giorgio Izzo, an eighth grade student from Ercolano, won the national Federchimica award dedicated to young people and will receive the recognition “Chemistry, the science that saves the world”, promoted by industrialists in the sector, in Milan on 26 September. “Ideonella Sakaiensis: greedy for plastic” is the title of the video with which the 13-year-old won the Federchimica prize: it is a hero-bacterium that can help save the world.

The idea

The student of the Iaccarino institute in the Vesuvian city, meeting the mayor Ciro Buonajuto in recent days, told how the idea came to him to talk about the plastic-eating bacterium, whose effects the scientific world began to study in 2016. “After a storm I realized how much plastic had been washed onto the beach and I asked myself what can be done to save the environment” explained the very young student with a passion for science.


Particularly proud of his young fellow citizen Buonajuto who wanted to get to know him and invite him to the municipality: “Giorgio is another beautiful story of our Ercolano, the concrete demonstration that only school can represent the true social lift and that with determination and commitment we can achieve goals important. We are really proud of this result.”

Because the mayor explains “it is important to recognize and celebrate the talent of young students who stand out in their areas of interest. Chemistry is a complex and fascinating discipline, and winning an award in this field demonstrates extraordinary commitment and a passion for science “.