Dec 20, 2017

Mealy bugs breakdown Styrofoam: A Solution to Our Mounting Global Plastic Problem

"Within a 16 day test period, 47.7% of the ingested Styrofoam carbon was
converted into CO2 and the residue (ca. 49.2%) was egested as fecula with a
limited fraction incorporated into biomass (ca. 0.5%). Tests with α 13C- or
β 13C-labeled PS confirmed that the 13C-labeled PS was mineralized to 13CO2 and
incorporated into lipids."
Search for "fecula from decomposition of Styrofoam" article:
 "According to Dr. Wu, the mealworms converted approximately half of the
Styrofoam into carbon dioxide – which is no different from any food source.
And within a day (24 hours), they excreted the rest of the plastic "as
biodegraded fragments" which resembled small rabbit droppings.
This Styrofoam waste from the mealworms "appeared to be safe" to use for
crops to grow food. It could even be used as soil, presumably."

A Solution to Our Mounting Global Plastic Problem: Plastic-Eating Mealwor