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Session 34

Scientists have discovered an enzyme that could be used to break down some commonly used plastics. Dan and Catherine teach you the language the world's media is using to discuss this story.

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    Activity 1

Activity 1

News Review

Enzyme could break down plastic

British and American scientists have found an enzyme on a Japanese recycling plant that they believe could help in the fight against plastic pollution. Dan and Catherine bring you the language you need to talk about this story.

Language challenge

Scientists have created a protein that can break down plastic. Break down is a verb with many meanings. Which of the following is NOT a meaning of break down?

a) stop working or functioning
b) lose control of one’s feelings
c) suddenly begin something
d) separate into component parts

Watch the video and complete the activity




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News Review: Global Polution: Cover image ETA_180302_#PlasticFree_Cover with green bar.png 6minengl_weblink_image.jpg


The story

US and British scientists have created a plastic-digesting enzyme that can help in the fight against plastic pollution. They’ve made an improved version of a natural enzyme that’s evolved the ability to feed on plastic.

Tests show that the new engineered protein could break down one of the most popular forms of plastic widely used by the food and drinks industry.

Key words and phrases


eat eagerly

usher in
(here) cause an activity or process to start

To do

Try our quiz to see how well you've learned today's language.

News Review quiz

3 Questions

Now you've watched the video, try to answer these questions about the language in the news.

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You can download the audio and PDF document for this episode here

Language challenge - answer

c) suddenly begin something


We hope you enjoyed News Review. You can find more episodes here.