Plastic-Eating Worms Could Save Our Planet

Studies are proving that mealworms (the creepy, crawly little guys that give us the tingles and goosebumps) may be able to help

In a publication by ACS Publications, researchers Professor Jun Yang from Beihang University and Wei-Min Wuhave from Stanford University discovered that mealworms can digest Polyethylene (PE), the most common plastic. Why is this such a breakthrough? Humans have considered this element non-biodegradable, until now.

“The findings are revolutionary. This is one of the biggest breakthroughs in environmental science in the past 10 years,” Professor Wu stated during an interview with CNN.

So how does it work? It’s pretty simple: the mealworm eats the plastic, digests it and releases as carbon dioxide and biodegradable waste (aka worm poo).

While this won’t be a solution for all waste, it could certainly help control waste management. According to Wu, there is still room for improvement. “We need to be better at recycling. We shouldn’t waste plastic anywhere.”

[h/t: CNN & UpWorthy]


Photo by jnyemb