This image shows a wax worm chewing a hole through plastic. Polyethylene debris can be seen attached to the caterpillar.
Credit: Federica Bertocchini, Paolo Bombelli, and Chris Howe
Generally speaking, plastic is incredibly resistant to breaking down. That’s certainly true of the trillion polyethylene plastic bags that people use each and every year. But researchers reporting in Current Biology on April 24 may be on track to find a solution to plastic waste. The key is a caterpillar commonly known as a wax worm.