Plastic waste is a problem. A big, big problem. Seemingly unrelated fact: Lots of people love vanilla. Scientists at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland have managed to combine these two ideas to come up with one of the most novel suggestions yet for reducing plastic garbage. They figured out a way to convert old plastic into vanilla flavoring that can be eaten, reports the Guardian. Researchers unleashed lab-engineered E. coli to transform terephthalic acid into vanillin, the compound that gives vanilla its distinctive taste and smell, per ZME Science. That acid, or TA, is a molecule derived from PET (polyethylene terephthalate), the polymer commonly used to make plastic bottles, bags, and other products. The researchers got there through a series of chemical reactions spelled out in the journal Green Chemistry.