Worms Could Hold the Key to Reducing the World’s Plastic Waste

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Watch these wax worms eat carbon bonds found in plastic. Which is great news for the planet as we use trillions of plastic bags a year and generate millions of tons of plastic waste.

The process was discovered by accident when a scientist and beekeeper called Federica Bertocchini dumped some caterpillar larvae (Galleria mellonella, or wax worm) she found in a beehive into a grocery bag. She looked later and discovered holes. From there she performed some tests and discovered that the larvae had transformed the plastic into ethylene glycol, by breaking down some very serious chemical bonds.

But we won’t be filling landfills with worms, it’s more likely that scientists will try and reproduce the chemical reaction in the laboratory and sell the outcome.