hungry caterpillar feasts on plastic bags
Scientists reported on Monday that a moth caterpillar usually feeds bait through a notorious resistant plastic, which gives hope that the creature can help solve the global plastic problem --bag pollution.
\"This discovery may be an important tool to help remove the accumulated polyethylene plastic waste from landfill sites and oceans,\" said Paul bompele, a professor at the University of Cambridge.
The author of a study published in the journal Contemporary Biology.
Polyethylene accounts for 40% of the demand for plastic products in Europe, mainly in the form of packaging and shopping bags.
These objects take years to carry out biological degradation, and when they are not recycled, they pose serious harm to the environment, especially marine life.
In the EU, 38% of plastic is thrown away in landfill sites.
Promising discoveries are concentrated on wax worms.
The name of the caterpillar larvae of the wax moth. In its pre-
The form of a caterpillar, as a mag worm that provides bait and aquarium food, the species is commercially raised.
Moths are also the scourge of beekeeping, spawning in precious hive.
Fortunately, this discovery took place at the home of the study\'s leading author, Federica betusini, a Spanish Cantabria creature
Benotcini used beekeeping boxes as a hobby.
\"When I went to clean them up in the spring for reuse, they were (wax)
The researchers told AFP.
So I put them in a bag.
After a while I saw the bags filled with holes and these caterpillars crawling around me.
Bertocchini and a team at the University of Cambridge, startled by the greedy appetite of caterpillars, decided to experiment to understand the amount and speed at which pests consume harmful plastics from the environment.
They put hundreds of yellow animals on plastic bags in supermarkets.
Within 40 minutes, the hole began to form.
After 12 hours, the Caterpillar consumed 92 mg, much faster than the fungus and bacteria consumed. Time for grub?
In their next Test, biologists confirmed that the larvae completely digested a plastic powder, breaking down its chemical composition.
Cover with crushed plastic bags
A similar result was produced by the caterpillar, indicating that an enzyme or other compound is at work.
\"The Caterpillar will produce something that breaks the chemical bond, perhaps in its spit glands, or in its intestines, producing symbiotic bacteria,\" Bertocchini said . \".
The answer may be the habitat and eating habits of worms.
Moth larvae are grown in bee populations and fed with beeswax, which scientists believe may be similar to decomposing polyethylene.
\"Wax is a polymer, a \'natural plastic, \'and the chemical structure is no different from polyethylene,\" Bertocchini suggested . \".
It is not clear whether a single enzyme or molecular combination causes plastic degradation.
But biologists want to identify and replicate the active substance manually.
\"It is not feasible to use millions of caterpillars on plastic bags,\" Bertocchini said . \".
Plastic made on a large scale-
In theory, the form of a degraded substance is a liquid that is harmless to the environment and can be used in plastic treatment facilities.