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Could wax worm saliva be answer to plastic waste?

New Scientist logo New Scientist 11/3/2022 David Stock
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Spanish scientists have isolated unique plastic-eating enzymes from the saliva of common wax worms. The biological agents break down polyethylene, a widely used plastic that takes years to degrade in the wild. Wax worm enzymes however oxidise the plastic in less than an hour, starting the degradation process.

It is hoped that by producing the enzymes on an industrial scale, new environmentally-friendly solutions to reducing plastic waste can be found, helping to tackle the plastic crisis that is destroying ecosystems.

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