Plastic-eating caterpillars could help tackle pollution
MANITOBA, CANADA — In 2017, small caterpillars were found to be dining on plastic garbage.
According to CNN, the little caterpillars can munch through plastic, even polyethylene, a common and non-biodegradable plastic found pretty much all over the planet now filling up landfills and oceans around the world.
According to findings published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, scientists now understand how the grubs are able to eat the plastic.
Apparently it's because of its amazing gut bacteria or microbiome.
Associate professor and chair of biology at Brandon University in Canada Christophe LeMoine said, "We found that waxworm caterpillars are endowed with gut microbes that are essential in the plastic biodegradation process."
"This process seems reliant on a synergy between the caterpillars and their gut bacteria to accelerate polyethylene degradation."
LeMoine did add that the waxworms were not an immediate fix to the world's horrible plastic garbage problem, and that more work still needs to be done to unlock how the caterpillars and their microbiome work together before it can be adapted and replicated on a large scale.
Well, in the meantime...just keep tossing everything into the garbage or the oceans.
NEXT ON TOMONEWS
Taiwanese kids fight Wuhan virus with a lego robot