Caterpillars Biodegrade Plastic Bags | AIChE

Caterpillars Biodegrade Plastic Bags


Polyethylene — which is used to make plastic bags and food packaging — is a tough material to break down, requiring corrosive chemicals and several months to degrade.

“Plastic is a global problem,” says Federica Bertocchini, a researcher at the Institute of Biomedicine and Biotechnology of Cantabria (CSIC), Spain. “Nowadays, waste can be found everywhere, including in rivers and oceans. Polyethylene in particular is very resistant, and as such is very difficult to degrade naturally.”

In a first, scientists at the Univ. of Cambridge and the CSIC may have found a natural approach to degrading plastic,...

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