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Creative Solution For Plastic Waste: Styrofoam Eating Mealworms (Video)

One man’s trash is another man’s — or worm’s — treasure. Research from Stanford shows that darkling beetle larvae, commonly called mealworms, will happily eat a diet of polystyrene (better known by its trade name, styrofoam), providing a possible method for disposing of this notoriously durable and pervasive plastic waste.

Related Article: Forging Biodegradable Plastic From Methane And Plant Waste

Wei-Min Wu and his colleagues at the university’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering raised a hundred mealworms from birth strictly on styrofoam, which the creatures can digest thanks to a type of bacteria in their gut. Each worm ate about a few dozen milligrams every day, converting about half to carbon dioxide and leaving half behind as non-toxic waste.

Related Article: 10 Tips For Living With Less Plastic

Wei-Min Wu and his colleagues at the university’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering raised a hundred mealworms from birth strictly on styrofoam, which the creatures can digest thanks to a type of bacteria in their gut. Each worm ate about a few dozen milligrams every day, converting about half to carbon dioxide and leaving half behind as non-toxic waste.

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