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In April, a report of plastic bag-eating caterpillars caused a sensation in worldwide media. The authors led by Federica Bertocchini of the University in Santander (Spain) had reported that the larvae of the wax moth Galleria mellonella were able to digest polyethylene (PE). This polymer is mainly used for making plastic packaging and bags. Co-workers of Till Opatz, professor for Organic Chemistry at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz (Germany), have now critically examined the released data and experimental procedures reported by Bertocchini et al. and published a counterstatement. According to their report, sufficient proof for the bio-degradation of polyethylene is missing in the first publication.
Original Article: German scientists question study about plastic-eating caterpillarsNEXT ARTICLE