Plastic Eating Worms – Plastic Waste ain’t a headache now
Hi guys, welcome again.
Scientists have found a crazy caterpillar(Wax Worm) that eats plastic. This worms are generally found with the honey bees helping bees in constructing the home(Honeycomb). Let me show you some stats for plastic pollution. According to plastic-pollution.org the plastic products are indestructible. They can be decomposed but not fully and still it takes upto 100 to 500 years for it to decompose. If i say about just plastic bags, what i found is, 150 bags are used by a person in a year. What about the plastic products like water bottles and other plastic family? Oh God thats too much of plastic. According to the remark made by Supreme Court, India, “we are sitting on a plastic time bomb”. This crazy creature which tastes plastic good, can help in a huge manner.
Spanish scientist, Federica Bertocchini first found about this ability of Wax Worms. While she was cleaning the beehives, she found the wax worms roaming around, she put the wax worm in the bag and kept that bag in one of her rooms. When she entered the room looking for the worms she found the worms out of that bag. They’d escaped by chewing their way out of the bag, and fast.
THESE ARE WORMS EATING POLYETHYLENE AND ESCAPING FROM A PLASTIC BAG. Credit: César Hernández/Ainhoa Goñi
After some researches the scientists found the rate of degradation of plastic by worms is 0.23 milligrams per square centimeter. Wax worms eats the plastic and leave a antifreeze – a liquid, ethylene glycol. The thing is antifreeze is the liquid that is used to lower the freezing point, used in radiators of vehicles. Thats what concluded that, yes the worms can breakdown the plastic. This could be possible because the beewax in hives is the similar to plastic. Worms have ability to breakdown the beewax as well as the plastic.
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That is the nature for you, nature found its way to degrade the plastic through this tiny creature. Beeswax is made of a wide variety of compounds, including alkanes, alkenes, fatty acids and esters. Many of those compounds include those carbon-carbon bonds — which could mean the wax moth has become naturally good at breaking those down. So far, the scientists are not sure whether this ability is due to the wax moth larva, or to the microbes within its gut.
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