Caterpillars and plastic pollution

imrs.phpProfessor Christopher Howe is one of the team of researchers who have discovered that a common insect larva that eats beeswax also break downs chemical bonds in the plastic used for packaging and shopping bags at uniquely high speeds. The discovery could lead to a biotechnological approach to the polyethylene waste that chokes oceans and landfills.

1nuhfnAround a hundred wax worms were exposed to a plastic bag from a UK supermarket. Holes started to appear after just 40 minutes, and after 12 hours there was a reduction in plastic mass of 92mg from the bag.

More coverage is available on the University of Cambridge website, The Washington Post, and the BBC.

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