The GuardianThe Guardian

Wax worm saliva rapidly breaks down plastic bags, scientists discover

By Damian Carrington

04 Oct 2022 · 3 min read

Enzymes that rapidly break down plastic bags have been discovered in the saliva of wax worms, which are moth larvae that infest beehives.

The enzymes are the first reported to break down polyethylene within hours at room temperature and could lead to cost-effective ways of recycling the plastic.

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