Worms can eat plastic waste and clean nature

Every day we use plastic bags and throw away lots of plastic items. It’s so pollute the environment that plastic wastes have been used by animals as building materials and even used them for food. Environmentalists from all over the world are trying to come up with an effective method of purification of nature from plastic waste and from time to time offer very interesting and unusual options. For example, canadian scientists believe that effectively destroy the plastic waste can of the so-called larvae big wax moth. It turned out that they, together with their intestinal bacteria, with a big appetite eat and digest polyethylene, which on the planet have accumulated a lot.

About the discovery of scientists was described in a scientific journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Larvae big wax moth, also known as wax worms, actually bring a lot of problems to beekeepers. They actively feed on wax combs and destroying parts collected by bees of honey, so people try to deal with them. However, in 2017, the researchers found that they can greatly benefit the environment, eating polyethylene and as a byproduct of producing dihydric alcohol is ethylene glycol.

Cleaning the planet from plastic

In the course of scientific work of the canadian scientists deliberately put the larvae on a diet that consists entirely of polyethylene. As it turned out, the worms eat plastic waste with a big appetite, because during the week 60 individuals ate the plastic fragment of the package area more than 30 square centimeters. Moreover, further work revealed that the larvae can eat and other materials that pollute our planet, but about what there is a speech, the researchers have not yet specified.

Great help in the digestion of polyethylene larvae have intestinal bacteria. This researchers learned when they compared the composition of intestinal bacteria sitting on the “plastic” diet of larvae and species that fed on the usual beeswax. It turned out that the concentration of intestinal bacteria inside lovers of plastic waste was much higher than the rest. This means that for the digestion of polyethylene intestinal bacteria of the larvae is simply necessary.

Even more of the importance of intestinal bacteria the researchers found in another experiment. They took several larvae and fully deprived of their intestinal bacteria with antibiotics. This group was fed with plastic waste throughout the year, and the digestion was given to them with great difficulty. It turns out that between the larvae and the intestinal bacteria there is synergy, that is, mutual.

Synergy is amplifying the effect of the interaction of two or more factors.