Plastikfressende Mehlwürmer: Das Ende des Problems?


Das ist doch mal eine gute Nachricht: Mehlwürmer, die sich durch Plastik mampfen. Eine Studie, die im Wissenschaftsmagazin Enviromental Science Technolgies veröffentlicht wurde, zeigt die Besonderheit der Mehlwürmer, die durch Mikroorganismen in der Lage sind Plastik zu verdauen.

100 Mehlwürmer fressen anscheinend zwischen 34 und 39 Milligramm Styropor – etwa das Gewicht einer kleinen Pille – am Tag. Umgewandelt wird das ganze dann in Kohlenstoffdioxid. Also nicht ganz so umweltfreundlich, was dabei raus kommt. Zudem stellt sich die Frage, was aus den Mehlwürmern wird, die unser Plastik wegfuttern? Jede Menge Fliegen, die sich wiederum von etwas ernähren müssen.

Ach, es ist zum Haare raufen!

Plastic for dinnerIn the lab, 100 mealworms ate between 34 and 39 milligrams of Styrofoam – about the weight of a small pill – per day. The worms converted about half of the Styrofoam into carbon dioxide, as they would with any food source.Within 24 hours, they excreted the bulk of the remaining plastic as biodegraded fragments that look similar to tiny rabbit droppings. Mealworms fed a steady diet of Styrofoam were as healthy as those eating a normal diet, Wu said, and their waste appeared to be safe to use as soil for crops.Researchers, including Wu, have shown in earlier research that waxworms, the larvae of Indian mealmoths, have microorganisms in their guts that can biodegrade polyethylene, a plastic used in filmy products such as trash bags. The new research on mealworms is significant, however, because Styrofoam was thought to have been non-biodegradable and more problematic for the environment.Researchers led by Criddle, a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, are collaborating on ongoing studies with the project leader and papers’ lead author, Jun Yang of Beihang University in China, and other Chinese researchers. Together, they plan to study whether microorganisms within mealworms and other insects can biodegrade plastics such as polypropylene (used in products ranging from textiles to automotive components), microbeads (tiny bits used as exfoliants) and bioplastics (derived from renewable biomass sources such as corn or biogas methane).Source:As part of a “cradle-to-cradle” approach, the researchers will explore the fate of these materials when consumed by small animals, which are, in turn, consumed by other animals.Read more at &lt;a rel=&quot;nofollow&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot; href=&quot;<a rel="noreferrer nofollow" target="_blank" href=";&gt;;/a&gt;">;&gt;;/a&gt;</a>

via Marco Dahms

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