These plastic-chomping caterpillars can help fight pollution
The wax worm caterpillar, a creature that can chomp through plastic, even polyethylene, a common and non-biodegradable plastic currently clogging up landfills and seas, could be the answer to our plastic problem.
Now scientists understand how the bug is able to eat the plastic. They found that wax worm caterpillars are endowed with gut microbes that are essential in the plastic biodegradation process.
In the wild, the larvae of the greater wax moth is considered a pest, because it acts as a parasite in bee colonies, eating away at the wax from honeycomb.
It was discovered by a Bee farmer in Spain that took the worms to a bag of plastic. The worms ate little holes in the bag, chewing through the plastic at an alarming rate.
How can we use them to help
We could put a lot of them in a big plastic filled site so they could eat all of our garbage and keep eating all of it until it’s done. Plastic is forming islands in our ocean and filling up landfill sites globally – it is a major problem. Lets fill these plastic sites with this wonderful creature, the wax moth caterpillar, and hopefully we can begin to see a difference in the mounting plastic pollution problem throughout the world. A small bite for a caterpillar; a massive bite for mankind.