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Plastic-eating worms May Cure Earth’s Trash Woes

Posted by Hoob on October 5th, 2015
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The worm’s crawl in, the worms crawl out, the worms… eat plastic litter and save the planet? It’s strange, but scientists at Stanford have figured out that Mealworms, those little crawly bits that we grew into beetles back in Kindergarten can actually survive on a diet made up entirely of Styrofoam and other polystyrene.

Amazingly, as noted by the co-author of the two studies that have been performed so far, Wei-Min Wu, the worms don’t just eat it and survive on the plastic and Styrofoam, but their guts biodegrade the plastic during the digestion process.

Nearly half of the plastic eaten by the worms is converted to Carbon Dioxide and the rest is pooped out in biodegradable pellets that are safe to use as soil in food crops.

This seems like a great solution to me. To alleviate the concerns about Carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas, set up small plastic dumping grounds in deforested areas, surrounded by newly planted trees. The plants will breathe in the CO2, while the worms turn the plastics into good soil to help bring nutrients back to the surrounding areas.

Source: Inhabitat
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