These Hungry Caterpillars Could Fix Our Plastic Bag Problem

Scientists have discovered a possible solution to the global plastic bag crisis: worms. Specifically, a waxworm that they’ve learned can eat through plastic at “uniquely high speeds.”

Researchers say the little caterpillar’s ability to break down even the toughest plastics is “extremely exciting” and could provide an environmentally friendly solution to the plastic bag problem. There are around a trillion plastic bags used across the globe every year and a lot of them end up in the oceans or landfills, so this little worm could change all that.

The waxworm is commonly found living in beehives and scientists believe it’s the enzymes in it’s saliva or gut that break down the chemical bonds in plastics, just like it digests the wax in the hives. It can eat through polyethylene more than 1,400 times faster than other organisms. And mother earth would be a lot happier without all those bags.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

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