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Discovery of Worms That Can Eat Plastic: Have We Found The Solution For Plastic Waste

By Andrew Alpin, 1 May 2017

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Caterpillars that eat plastic!! Have you ever heard of such a thing? The amazing fact is yes it does!! On 24th April, the scientific world was given reason to be excited with a publication in the Journal Current Biology about how caterpillars were discovered gorging on plastic. Well if that is a regular thing, the world’s pollution problems regarding plastic will now be solved.

The accidental discovery was made by scientist and bee keeper Federica Bertocchini of the institute o Biomedicine and Biotechnology of Cantabria in Spain. She was actually a bit annoyed to see one of her beehives crawling with wax worms so she cleaned the beehive and placed the worms in a plastic bag. It isn’t hard to guess what happened.

1 She found the plastic bag full of holes

After going out and returning she found the plastic bag full of holes and worms crawling all over her room. The worms had eaten their way out of the bag. This led to a thorough scientific investigation which found that these caterpillars that eat plastic were a one-moment affair. Scientists in Cambridge England found that they were plastic eating worms which meant further research can be now conducted to use them against plastic pollution that floods the oceans worldwide.

It took the worms just 40 minutes to shred a plastic shopping bag and in 4 hours 13% of the bag had been eaten.

plastic bag full of holes

Image Source: www.thelogicalindian.com

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