Can Plastic-Eating Superworms Offer Hope For Recycling?


A species of insect larvae with a taste for plastic could help revolutionize recycling, researchers say. Australian scientists have found the Zophobas morio, commonly known as a superworm, can survive on a diet of polystyrene. They believe the beetle larvae digest the plastic through a gut enzyme. That could be significant for advancements in recycling. Superworms are like mini recycling plants, shredding the polystyrene with their mouths and then feeding it to the bacteria in their gut. What do you think LiveTribers, can plastic-eating superworms offer hope for recycling?

Posted by on 25 Jul 2022

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  • [0] [0]
    Kittykato

    It would be great if it works!

    Posted by Kittykato on 12 Sep 2022

  • [0] [0]
    Special One

    I think it's possible and it's a good start. Having said that, such worm is not the only possible solution to plastic waste. There is another possibility with a new genetic modified bacteria that has been claimed to do the same thing. As long as the new solution not only clean up our ocean but also maintain the health of the marine and the ecosystem, then it will be amazing.

    Posted by Special One on 24 Aug 2022

  • [0] [0]
    nk_amara

    I'm not sure this comes under 'recycling' but perhaps a good way to dispose of plastic waste.

    Posted by nk_amara on 16 Aug 2022

  • [0] [0]
    Daniel

    Sounds good on the surface but isn't it interfering with the balance of nature? Look what happened when they bought the cane toad in as a control element!! Could the same thing happen but on a smaller scale?!

    Posted by Daniel on 12 Aug 2022

  • [0] [0]
    fresheyes

    What shrewd lil sausages

    Posted by fresheyes on 08 Aug 2022

  • [0] [0]
    4

    sounds a bit far fetched for my taste. How possibly would it change the composition of the plastics it consumes, plastic is toxic to my knowledge so do the those worms have acid inside to break it down??? Or cast iron stomachs??? To far fetched for my liking regardless of hearsay from scientists.

    Posted by 4 on 08 Aug 2022

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    Susan

    This sounds very interesting and could be a way to dispose of plastic waste

    Posted by Susan on 08 Aug 2022

  • [0] [0]
    Kimmym86

    I think this is a great idea as long as it’s used in a controlled environment and for the right purposes. But we also need to tackle the problem of how much plastic we’re using and not just look at this as a Band-Aid solution to a bigger problem

    Posted by Kimmym86 on 08 Aug 2022

  • [0] [0]
    merryl

    This is an interesting idea, but I can't help wondering what could go wrong if these superworms get out of the lab and into society. How do you stop them from eating items that are still in use and are not ready to be recycled?

    Posted by merryl on 08 Aug 2022

  • [0] [0]
    Bonnie

    I wonder how long they live if they only eat that and nothing else.

    Posted by Bonnie on 08 Aug 2022

  • [0] [0]
    Janelle

    I am concerned that they will eat/dissolve things we are not expecting them too, and their waist will still contain the plastic/polystyrene, and they have come out of nowhere, and that seams strange, like, were they genetically created, and if so, what do we know about their behaviour for curtain, and is it even real or a falsehood. Also, don't we need to reuse this stuff. I prefer glass, cardboard and things we can trust as safe. BPA products are not good for us or for the environment so why not use glass and cardboard. If out bins had seperate places for cardboard, glass, plastic, metals, it would mane the recycling job alot easier.

    Posted by Janelle on 06 Aug 2022

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    Owlyowl

    We don't need polystyrene, there's no need to recycle it

    Posted by Owlyowl on 06 Aug 2022

  • [1] [0]
    michiemoo

    That seems like a good idea, if the worms can really eat and digest plastic. Recylcing cost so much and takes a long time, so if this is something that can simplify and quicken the process of recycling, it is great.

    Posted by michiemoo on 06 Aug 2022

  • [0] [0]
    Shea

    Sounds kind of creepy

    Posted by Shea on 06 Aug 2022

  • [2] [0]
    Suzanne

    Sounds great as long as they don't escape and take over the planet like cockroaches or COVID! They might destroy a lot of things in my home that aren't ready for recycling yet...

    Posted by Suzanne on 01 Aug 2022

  • [1] [0]
    Narelle

    Assuming this is real and not a scam, what happens when the worms poo the plastic out the other end? As the environmentalists like to say, there is no such place as "away". All creatures with a gut will have to eliminate their waste somehow, so it is going to come out the other end still. As some others have said, stop making the plastic. Go back to glass and cardboard and so on like they used to have.

    Posted by Narelle on 01 Aug 2022

  • [0] [0]
    Simone

    In a way it's a good idea, I gesss could be great 4 school gardens

    Posted by Simone on 27 Jul 2022

  • [0] [0]
    Francis

    Will that mean that I can stop feeding my bottles into the machine and loosing 5 cents for every bottle or can? It is not return and earn it is return and loose!

    Posted by Francis on 25 Jul 2022

  • [0] [0]
    Paula

    It sounds great but billions would be required before they even made a dent. I had a worm farm but even with loads of worms the amo9unt of waste they ate was minimal. One can live in hope though can't they

    Posted by Paula on 25 Jul 2022

  • [0] [0]
    sandra

    It sounds like a possibility but I'd have to know more. Do they poop it out and further contaminate the soil? Still the best solution is to reduce production and consumption. We can all do little and it adds up to a lot!

    Posted by sandra on 25 Jul 2022

  • [1] [0]
    Irelle

    I think it would be great idea if it would work and hopefully it would clean up the plastic waste. My only concern would it be still plastic after it passed through its body.

    Posted by Irelle on 25 Jul 2022

  • [3] [0]
    RussT

    Does not matter how much they chew the plastic up it’s still plastic when they poop it out!

    Posted by RussT on 25 Jul 2022

  • [1] [0]
    RussT

    Just STOP making the damn plastic in the first place, there’s so many natural substitutes to plastic

    Posted by RussT on 25 Jul 2022

  • [0] [0]
    mact

    Absabloodylutely.......if the hype is correct and the bugs don't mind a varied diet!!

    Posted by mact on 25 Jul 2022

  • [2] [0]
    Hayley

    Very interesting! I think this could be a good thing for the future! There is so much single use plastic out there. This would help.

    Posted by Hayley on 25 Jul 2022

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