Could Plastic Eating ‘Superworms’ Help Solve Our Waste Problem?

Our planet is drowning in plastic.

It’s in our oceans, overflowing in landfill and even making its way into our bodies in the form of microplastics.  

Things are getting creative in the labs however and one research group has identified a species that will happily eat plastic and break it down – they’re calling them superworms!

“In this project, the researchers were thinking that these darkling beetle larvae are bigger than other species,” Cosmos Magazine journalist Ellen Phiddian said.

“So they’ve got bigger stomachs and they eat more.

“And so they wanted to test out if these larvae could do the same and eat polystyrene.”

On this episode of The Science Briefing, Dr Sophie Calabretto talks to Phiddian about the species that will happily munch on a plastic snack and exactly how this will help address our global plastic problem. 

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