Topic: Plastic-chewing super worms offer hope for recycling

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Researchers say insect larvae that taste plastic could help revolutionize recycling.

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Australian scientists found that Zophobas morio, commonly known as the superworm, survived by eating polystyrene-containing foods.They believed that the beetle larvae digest the plastic through intestinal enzymes.

One researcher said that could be important to advances in recycling.Dr. Chris Ringe said: “Superworms are like small recycling plants. destroy polystyrene with their mouths It then feeds the food to the bacteria in the gut.”

The University of Queensland team fed three different groups of superworms over three weeks. Batch that eats polystyrene causes weight gain.The team found that several enzymes in the gut of super worms are capable of breaking down polystyrene and polystyrene.

Both are common in take-out containers and other items such as insulation and auto parts.But the research is unlikely to lead to massive worm farms that double as recycling plants.