Plastic Overwhelming Landfills? Worms Might Be Part of the Solution


The average plastic bag takes 400 years to degrade. With human beings disposing of more and more plastic than ever, scientists have been frantically searching for a remedy to this persistent problem. By happenstance, a scientist and amateur beekeeper discovered that wax worms, which get their name from their tendency to eat honeycombs, also eat plastic.

After removing an infestation of wax worm larvae from her beehive, the scientist found that the plastic bags carrying the spoiled honeycomb were filled with holes. Researchers are now looking into isolating the enzyme this larva uses to break down plastic.

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