Out of all the problems human beings cause, garbage is probably one of the biggest. We constantly create more & more garbage even though we don’t have a viable solution to make it go away. It has become a common sight to see huge garbage landfills pop up one after another in various cities across the world.
But it seems that finally we have a solution. Researchers from Stanford University in US and Beihang University in China have found that a special kind of bacteria found in the Mealworm’s gut, can safely digest plastic, & could potentially help reduce the environmental impact of plastic.
Mealworm, which is a larval form of the Darkling Beetle, can Safely Digest Plastic & excrete it as carbon dioxide & biodegradable droppings. These droppings can even serve as fertilizer for crops. These findings have given significant hope to climate activists who previously thought that these substances were non-biodegradable & would continue to pollute the surface of the planet long after we die.
“Our findings have opened a new door to solve the Global Plastic Pollution Problem,” co-author Wei-Min Wu, a senior research engineer at Stanford, said in a statement.
Compared to the amount of plastic people throw out, the mealworm’s capacity to process our waste product doesn’t sound like much. But scientists are hopeful, that further research could help us engineer more powerful enzymes for plastic degradation. The researchers are also looking for a marine equivalent of the mealworm, to take care of the garbage floating around in our oceans.
Once either of the above possibilities come true, we will have science to thank for solving one of the most rapidly growing problems we are to facing currently.