Read

“Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty." 

- Albert Einstein

About

We're a not-for-profit initiative advocating for topics that matter whilst innovating wider socio-ethical impact, planetary change and acknowledgement. 

 

We raise awareness for topics such as; sustainability, science, sentience, nature, environment, health, nutrition, mental health, mindfulness and more.

Why

In recent times, we have faced challenges unlike any in recorded human history, and as a collective are now faced with humanity's cumulative mistakes inherited from many generations.

The time for change is now. It is now time to acknowledge and adapt to a better, fairer and more sustainable way of living.

Founder | Ellis Jackson

Editor | Kate Byng-Hall

Could Worms Be A Possible Solution For Plastic Waste?

Innovation and Sustainability: Writer Hannah Johnstone Reveals How Plastic-Eating Worms Could Help In Our War With Plastic

Photo by Christina


Plastic is one of the leading contributors to our planet’s deteriorating health. Each year, 400 million tonnes of plastic is produced, 40% of which is single-use. Of this plastic, only 9% is recycled, 12% is burnt and the remaining 79% ends up in landfills or the environment.


Environmentalists predict that 12 billion tonnes, the equivalent of 66 million blue whales, of plastic waste will occupy landfills or the environment by 2050.

Clearly, a solution to all this plastic waste is needed, and soon. Many countries have placed bans on certain plastic use. For example, in 2017 Kenya implemented a full ban on the production and handling of plastic bags.


Rwanda and Morocco have also applied plastic bans, meaning that anyone producing or in possession of plastic packaging will face criminal punishment. There is still, however, plastic with lifespans of up to 1000 years overflowing our landfills.


Not only does this plastic waste clog up our landfills and produce eyesores in our natural environment, but it also harms wildlife. 1 in 3 turtles will ingest plastic within their

lifetimes. With wildlife suffering at the hands of man made waste, could nature be ready to fight back in the form of a worm?


The solution?


The wax worm could be a potential light in the ever darkening cloud of plastic waste. Scientists have discovered two species of waxworm, the Galleria mellonella and Plodia interpunctella, which can digest polyethylene. Polyethylene is the most commonly used plastic, forming most of the world’s plastic bags and bottles.


Professor and beekeeper Federica Bertocchini was the first to discover the worms’ plastic-eating abilities after finding them in her backyard beehives. She placed them in a plastic bag to later find that they produced tiny holes in the plastic.


Bertocchini then, along with scientists Paolo Bombelli and Christopher J. Howe, observed that, when placed in a polyethylene shopping bag, approximately 100 Galleria mellonella waxworms consumed almost 0.1 gram of the plastic over the course of 12 hours. This information shows us that it would take 100 of these worms nearly a month to completely break down an average, 5.5 gram plastic bag.


It is believed that the worms produce an enzyme capable of breaking down the plastic into ethylene glycol - a biodegradable compound. This enzyme could be the key to breaking down some of the plastic waste polluting our planet and therefore clearing landfills.


Although these worms represent a phenomenon in natural history which forms a bridge between the natural world and man-made pollution, it is not looking like the most cost effective method of combating plastic waste. Tracy Mincer, a marine biologist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, claims that a better solution is simply recycling more and producing less plastic.

We are a conscious publication and platform providing social-ethical insight and acknowledgement about topics that matter. Ethical insight, one place. We are non-profit and funded by readers like you. | To support our work and journalism, please donate. | Tru.



The

Ethical 

Initiative

Name: The Truprint Group  Account: 37701460   

Sort code: 30-90-89

or PayPal

Our mission is to help society stay informed and much more

All proceeds generated go towards not-for-profit projects and initiatives

Our volunteers care about supporting 

people and the planet

Stay informed by subscribing today.

By subscribing, you're agreeing to our privacy policy.

Based in

Powered by advocates

  • Spotify
  • Twitter
  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Instagram Icon
  • White LinkedIn Icon

The informative hub for socio-ethical impact and acknowledgement.

Photo by Marina Vitale

Read. Listen. Advocate.

The Truprint Group ©

27 Old Gloucester Street, London, United Kingdom, WC1N 3AX 

Created by Tru. ©

Terms of Use & Privacy Policy

Company Number: 11188091

Terms, Conditions and Policies.

  • White Spotify Icon
  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Instagram Icon
  • White LinkedIn Icon
  • White Pinterest Icon

Tru.

We are a project and trademark of The Truprint Group a Community Interest Company | CIC.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2017-2020