Wax worms, the plastic eating caterpillars!
Wax worms are the caterpillar stage of wax moths. These “worms” could hold answers to our present plastic pollution concern. The world’s landfills and oceans are full of plastic bags, plastic food containers, etc. Plastic bags can take over 100 years to decompse but wax worms can digest them in about 12 hours. Researchers are working to find what enzymes wax worms carry that allow them to digest the plastics. During their studies, they are looking for ways to possibly create a massive scale reproduction of the particular enzyme. Therefore, helping to reduce our plastic waste, instead of using the wax worm itself. It would take a lot of wax worms to put a dent in our current plastic pollution. Hopefully, those studying the wax worm can find out what it would take to reduce our plastic pollution and help clean up our environment.
“Can very hungry caterpillars join the fight against plastic pollution?”
“Scientists have reported seeing a moth caterpillar commonly bred to provide fish bait eating a notoriously resistant plastic, raising hopes the creature can help manage the global problem of plastic-bag pollution.”
“The find happened by accident at the home of Federica Bertocchini, a biologist at the Institute of Biomedicine and Biotechnology of Cantabria in Spain, who keeps beehives as a hobby.”
‘“This discovery could be an important tool for helping to get rid of the polyethylene plastic waste accumulated in landfill sites and oceans,” said Cambridge University professor Paolo Bombelli, co-author of the study.’