The Animal That Can Eat Plastic And Can Help The World

A small solution to a huge problem Lately, there has been a lot of media attention regarding plastic pollution and all the dangers that come with it. One major...

A small solution to a huge problem

Lately, there has been a lot of media attention regarding plastic pollution and all the dangers that come with it. One major problem that our society’s dependence on plastic products causes is the tremendous amount of trash polluting the ocean. Legislation in the state of California and countries such as Rwanda, Kenya, Taiwan, New Zealand, France, and several more have banned single-use plastics in one way or another in response to the global problem.

National Geographic reports that “ocean plastic is estimated to kill millions of marine animals every year… Nearly 700 species, including endangered ones, are known to have been affected by it.” Marine life is harmed by plastic in many ways, including by consuming it.

A tiny little worm is giving hope for a solution to this world-wide problem. Wax worms, which eat the wax of beehives, will also consume plastic bags. Polyethylene plastic bags are composed of material similar to the polymer that composes the beehive wax. The wax worms appetite for plastic was discovered by a beekeeper cleaning out an infestation.

It was found that 6,000 worms can eat a plastic bag in one hour. Seeing as the world uses up, not a billion, but a trillion plastic bags a year, studies involving the hungry and helpful little worms are definitely being continued.

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