An exciting new breakthrough has recently surfaced in biotechnology. Research has been conducted at a university located in England, where specimens from the Lepidoptera species actually consume and break down plastic – they are known as wax-worms, as they are normally known to eat the wax that bumblebees create.
Although, the research is only in the beginning stages, as it has been discovered, it is truly a mind-blowing discovery, that could really help with breaking down a lot of plastics from landfills.
Coincidentally, the wax from bees is made up of the same chemical in common types of plastic, known as polyethylene. If you are not aware, polyethylene is a very difficult substance to decompose, taking from anywhere up to 450-1000 years, to fully breakdown – however, these little guys are able to break down the chemical in as little as forty minutes! This is especially intriguing, for future research that could possibly isolate, and determine the chemical in the body or stomach of wax-worms. This would allow us to chemically engineer large amounts of it, for our landfills, as millions of tonnes of polyethylene plastic fills our landfills, every year!
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“Policy makers must create policies for our elected representatives to include in their platforms, regarding environmental policy. Legislation must be introduced and implemented in our country to lower and regulate greenhouse gas emissions. We need to set a good example for other countries, in mitigating climate change.”