Isolation and Characterization of Polyethylene and Polyethylene Terephthalate-degrading Bacteria from Jakarta Bay, Indonesia

Aqil Azizi1, *, Sirin Fairus1, Deffi Ayu Puspito Sari1
1 Department of Environmental Engineering, University of Bakrie, Kuningan, Jakarta 12920, Indonesia

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Creative Commons License
© 2024 The Author(s). Published by Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Environmental Engineering, University of Bakrie, Kuningan, Jakarta 12920, Indonesia; E-mail:



Plastic is resistant to natural breakdown because of its intricate structure, which features long and repeated molecular chains. As a result, a variety of plastic waste, mostly made of polyethylene (PE) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET), accumulates in Jakarta Bay. The use of microorganisms to degrade plastic trash has emerged as a highly promising bioremediation strategy.


The goal of this research is to find microorganisms capable of digesting plastic in the samples of seawater and sediment obtained from Muara Angke Jakarta Bay. The bacteria were grown on Zobell Marine Agar (ZMA) that had been treated with 2% polyethylene glycol (PEG). The bacteria were then selected based on their capacity to degrade PE and PET microplastics in a liquid medium. The ability to degrade was determined by measuring the optical density (OD) at 600 nm and the decrease in plastic dry weight after a 14-day incubation period.


Seven bacterial isolates capable of decomposing PE and PET were found during the isolation and screening methods. The WJ1 outperformed other isolates in the degradation of PE and PET, with degradation rates of 4.5% and 6.5%, respectively.


According to 16S rRNA analysis, five bacterial species have been identified as playing a part in the process of plastic degradation: Vibrio alginolyticus, Pseudoalteromonas caenipelagi, Microbulbifer pacificus, Pseudomonas marincola, and Bacillus subtilis. The ability of these bacteria to biodegrade plastics represents an opportunity to effectively remove persistent pollutants from the environment.

Keywords: Characterization, Isolation, Jakarta bay, Microplastics, Polyethylene, Polyethylene terephthalate.