The humble worm could save us all again. Not content with being instrumental for agriculture, some scientists have worked out they can eat Styrofoam and other forms of plastic.
But what took the scientists most by surprise was the worms’ follow-up health report: The Styrofoam-fed mealworms appear to be just as healthy as those fed a normal diet. In fact, their excreted waste seems to be safe enough to be used as soil for crops, although more research is needed to confirm this.
The real breakthrough in this study is the discovery bug guts can break down what was believed to be a non-biodegradable product – especially one as ubiquitous and problematic for our environment as polystyrenes.
The awesomeness of worms was apparent to Aristotle and Charles Darwin, who wrote a book about them. In 2007 alone, Australia generated 23.1 million tonnes of landfill, while further testing is required, turning them loose might make a significant impact in waste management.