Monday, April 24, 2017

What do beeswax and plastic have in common?

Quite a lot, actually - in fact, beeswax can be used for food grade materials as long as you don't put anything hot in it (it tends to melt).

And a moth called Galeria mellonella is quite fond of both - or rather, its caterpillars are. Turns out they can digest polyethylene - the plastic used to make single use grocery bags.

Not that we're going to farm caterpillars (maybe not, anyway), but the digestive habits of Galeria mellonella might lead to a way to biodegrade one of the most commonly used (and thrown away) plastics.