CSEB Research Webinar on December 6, 2016: Styrofoam Degradation by Mealworm Beetles and Other Good News.

To view this past webinar, see its listing under Resources >  CSEB Webinar Archives

Presented by Peter Heule, Royal Alberta Museum on Tuesday, December 6, 2016.

Abstract: Styrofoam and plastic biodegradation: Good News! Two materials formerly believed to be non-biodegradable and ubiquitous in consumer and construction waste can be broken down by the common mealworm beetle and naturally occurring bacteria, respectively. Plastic water bottles and Styrofoam are not as permanent as we thought, some bacteria are able to reduce them into less persistent constituents, giving hope for reducing the amount of plastic pollution in the environment and our landfills. The implications for further research and development of biodegradation techniques for problematic pollutants using insects and bacteria are discussed.

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