Current estimates indicate that it could take tens to hundreds of years for the 33 million tons of plastic that get added to our landfills each year to degrade. The plastic and styrofoam that don’t make it to landfills often end up in the stomachs of birds and even the fish you eat for dinner.
But it turns out mealworms can help a small piece of styrofoam biodegrade in just the 24 hours it takes them to digest it. In a recent study, mealworms were given pill-sized pieces of styrofoam to eat, and they easily digested the plastic, converting it to CO2 and biodegraded fragments.
This could be big news for both the plastics and the recycling industries.