Researchers find worms that can safely feed on plastic in your garbage ~ Friendly Eco Might

Monday, 21 December 2015

Researchers find worms that can safely feed on plastic in your garbage

Mealworms Styrofoam

Garbage is a major issue. Indeed, a lot of us are doing our part to assist with recycling, the quantity of non-recyclable and plastics in the US approaches 30 million tons yearly.

Presently, analysts have discovered proof that bacteria in an animal's gut can biodegrade plastic and conceivably decrease the impact of plastic in landfill or any other place. The animal being referred to? The humble mealworm – which is not that humble after all. We had also discussed about worms used in Vermicomposting, where worms play a vital role.

Scientists from Stanford University in US and Beihang University in China discovered that the mealworm, the larval type of the darkling beetle, has the ability to subsist on Styrofoam and sorts of polystyrene, with the bacteria in the worm's gut biodegrading the plastic as a major aspect of its digestive process. The discoveries are noteworthy because it was already imagined that these substances were non-biodegradable, i.e., they ended up in the landfills (or more regrettable, our seas, where they'd collect for years).
Wei-Min Wu, a researcher in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford said that, "Our discoveries have opened another way to solve the worldwide plastic pollution issue".

In the study, 100 mealworms ate somewhere around 34 and 39 milligrams of Styrofoam every day, converting about half to
CO2 and the other excreting the rest as biodegraded droppings. They stayed healthy on the plastic eating regimen, and their droppings had all the earmarks of being safe for use as soil for yields.

The mealworms' ability to handle our waste product won't seem like much, but rather advance research could help us design more intense enzymes for plastic degradation, which includes processing different sorts of plastics, including polypropylene, microbeads, and bioplastics.


Scientists are hoping to discover whether a marine creature like the mealworm might exist, as a huge amounts of plastic in the earth's oceans are ongoing ecological concern.

These reports can be found in the Environmental Science and Technology.







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The Author

Somanath Yadavalli is 19 year old guy, who is pursuing his B.Tech (Electronics and Communication Engineering) in The National Institute of Engineering, Mysore, Karnataka, India. He is managing several blogs from his own living room. His passion is to do something for his planet. Read more...

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