Cambridge, England – Plastic-eating caterpillars may be the secret to a future without waste.
The human race dump trillions of plastic bags into landfills every year but we may now have an unexpected ally.
Federica Bertocchini of the Spanish National Research Council discovered the wax worm’s capabilities.
She used the worms to clear out wax from her honeybee colonies.
One day, she saw the caterpillars eat their way out of a plastic bag.
After her discovery, she teamed up with Dr. Paolo Bombelli, a biochemist at the University of Cambridge, to isolate their stomach enzymes.
“The caterpillar will be the starting point,” he told BBC News.
“We need to understand the details under which this process operates.
“We hope to provide the technical solution for minimizing the problem of plastic waste.”
Bombelli and Bertocchini wants to speed up the process of discovering the chemical secrets behind the natural degradation of plastic.
They think microbes in the caterpillar – as well as the insect itself – might play a role in breaking down plastic.
If the chemical process can be identified, it could lead to a solution to managing plastic waste in the environment.
Hopefully — these very hungry caterpillars just might be able to save the world from plastic waste.
Article originally posted: May 10, 2017, 4:31 pm (UTC-0). Last update: May 10, 2017 at 4:31 pm (UTC-0).