Insects take a bite into Styrofoam waste
Insects take a bite into Styrofoam waste

STYROFOAM (發泡膠) is a kind of plastic widely used in our everyday lives. We use it to make disposable cups and plates, we use it as packing materials, and it can even be used to build boats!

But it creates a serious pollution problem because this kind of expandable polystyrene (聚苯月烯) is not biodegradable, which means that it can stay the same for thousands of years if we dump it or bury it under soil. Burning it is not a good idea either because that would produce toxic gases that are harmful to humans, animals and plants.

Fortunately, scientists might have discovered a way to solve this pollution problem. Researchers from California's (美國加州) Stanford University (史丹福大學) and China's Beihang University (北京航空航天大學) discovered that a kind of mealworm (黃粉蟲) could eat their way through Styrofoam. It seems to be the first organism that is able to do this! It is now hoped that such a discovery could help Styrofoam disappear!

(This article is published on Goodies on 28 October 2015)