NPR

A Worm May Hold The Key To Biodegrading Plastic

More than a trillion plastic bags are used annually. They're made of a notoriously resilient kind of plastic called polyethylene – but scientists have found that wax worms are able to break them down.
The larvae of Galleria mellonella, commonly known as a wax worm, is able to biodegrade plastic bags. Source: Wayne Boo

People around the world use more than a trillion plastic bags every year. They're made of a notoriously resilient kind of plastic called polyethylene that can take decades to break down.

But a humble worm may hold the key to biodegrading them.

It was an accidental discovery. Scientist and beekeeper Federica Bertocchini was frustrated to find that her

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