Beetles that recycle plastic into safe compounds. It turns out there are. The special properties of insects were discovered by biotechnologists from the Xenos team from the Yakutia technopark. It turned out that zophobas morio beetles can eat plastic. It was decided to put it to the benefit of the people. Researchers have already created portable mini-stations that they plan to use in offices and apartments.
– More than 900 zofobas morio beetles will be “settled” in one station, – the details of the idea are specified in the press center of Yakutia in Moscow. – This amount will be enough to provide a family of 3-4 people with the processing of household plastic: bags, packaging made of polystyrene, polystyrene and polyethylene.
How will people feel next to the omnivorous plastic beetle and what if the beetles scatter?
– Activists today can recycle plastic at home with the help of beetles. Our design is absolutely safe. If the insects escape, they can be found in a pot of flowers, – explained the participant of the Xenos project Evgeny Popov.
Since now the disposal of plastic, from which the planet is literally suffocating, is a painful question, it is possible that beetles will be considered a way out of the situation. By the way, it turned out that plastic can be fed not only to the mysterious zophobas morio, a hundred hours in 10 hours can destroy 500 milligrams of plastic, but also fungi and bacteria. There are more than 100 such “amateurs”, but many of them are less voracious, for example, the plastic beetle moth absorbs “only” 100 milligrams. All of these species are being researched and wanted to be thrown into the trash fight.
How do living creatures manage to feed on plastic? Scientists have tested this phenomenon using the example of the same moth. Having found herself in a situation of “lack of food”, she adapted and now, thanks to evolution, she can eat packages. To find out how this is the case with the beetles, they were fed only with plastic for a couple of weeks, and then dried. It turned out that they recycle plastic into secondary metabolites and octacosane.
Several companies and about fifty families decided to try themselves as pioneer experimenters in the fight against plastic. They will all receive mini-stations. Note that one of the goals of the Xenos project is not to breed beetles, but to create a solution that breaks down plastic. And scientists are on the right track.