Scientists Accidentally Discover Plastic Eating Caterpillar

Scientists Accidentally Discover Plastic Eating Caterpillar

Plastic is one of the most useful inventions made by humans, but with the amount of convenience it has given us, a mountain of problems has come with it. Tonnes of waste fill our oceans, landfills and wash up on shores, and there needs to be something done about it. With the discovery of the wax worm, scientists are now thinking that have a solution to our problems.
It was unknown to researchers and scientists around the planet that a natural creature was capable of digesting plastic. A hobbyist beekeeper was tending to her hives, when she took out the wax worms that would often snack on the beeswax inside the hives, and when placing them into a plastic bag, she discovered that they ate their way out.

Upon further studying it, they found that the worms were able to digest the plastic, rather than simply biting through it. Now, scientists are trying to devise ways to utilize the wax worm to reduce the amount of plastic waste that is found around the world.
Now I bet you’re thinking, why don’t we just dump a bunch of these into our landfills and let these wax worms just eat everything? Well, researchers have thought about that solution, but would pose a problem within our food chains. It is still unknown whether the toxins contained within plastics could cause problems as they work their ways up through predators, so until more research is done, it’s a solution that’s going to be put on hold until further analysis.

Instead, researchers are trying to find the enzyme within the creatures that is responsible for the plastic digestion. Fingers crossed they find it soon!

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