Plastic-Eating Caterpillars could help Bring an End to Pollution


Plastic-Eating Caterpillars Could Help Bring an End to Pollution

Scientists have discovered that wax worms can eat and biodegrade polyethylene, the rugged, common plastic used to make the shopping bags that are currently glutting landfill sites. The discovery was serendipitous. In an attempt to remove the pesky parasites from her honeycombs, an amateur beekeeper placed the worms into shopping bags, only to find that they’d begun to eat their way out.

Fortunately, that amateur beekeeper is a professional scientist: Federica Bertocchini of the Institute of Biomedicine and Biotechnology of Cantabria (IBBTEC) in Spain.

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