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Plastic-eating bugs? It is a great story but...

How thoughtful of nature to provide bugs that eat our rubbish. Is this the end of the landfill, turtles with plastic-congested stomachs, and trees adorned with tattered ribbons of shopping bags?  The Guardian raised our hopes of a plastic free world with this article.  

But like most things in life, there is not an easy fix to a big problem.  While the wax worms do eat plastics (yeah) they also eat anything that is plastic - including the wax that bees have and need to survive.  The introduction of one solution can create a new problem.  The article compared this potential trade-off to when Australia introduced the cane toad?  The toads were introduced in the 1930s to control crop pests but instead gorged themselves on other local wildlife and spread across the country.  

The discovery is great as perhaps there is something that the wax worm produces that could help us reduce or eliminate the pile of plastic around the world.  But we do need to remember that for every reaction there is an equal and not always positive reaction.

Comments by Mary Sue Rogers

Posted On : 26-04-17

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