Styrofoam-Eating Mealworms Could Happily Dispose of Plastic Waste | NECN

Styrofoam-Eating Mealworms Could Happily Dispose of Plastic Waste

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    FILE - Foam soup containers are stacked in a New York restaurant. New research from Stanford University shows mealworms are able to digest the material and could help provide a method of disposal of this type of waste.

    Researchers believe they may have found a solution to the rising problem of plastic waste, NBC News reported.

    A team of engineers from Stanford University have been raising a hundred mealworms from birth on a diet made up of styrofoam. Their research shows that each worm is able to eat about a few dozen milligrams every day, with a type of bacteria in their gut helps that helps them digest the material. The worms are able to convert half the foam to carbon dioxide and leave half behind as non-toxic waste.

    It’s an exciting discovery for scientists as global plastic pollution continues to be a problem. The report notes that Americans throw away 2.5 billion plastic foam cups every year, and only 10 percent of all plastics ever get recycled.