How a plastic-munching caterpillar could help save the earth

Story highlights

  • Wax worms' digestive process could help break down non-biodegradable plastic
  • The caterpillars are thought of as pests because they damage bee hives

(CNN)Even the smallest among us can be big heroes. Take the lowly wax worm, for instance.

The larva of the greater wax moth is considered a huge pest in Europe, because it acts as a parasite in bee colonies.
    However, its bizarre eating habits may help solve a huge environmental problem.
    See, the wax worm is apparently not averse to eating plastic. An amateur beekeeper in Spain discovered this when she plucked some of the pests from her beehives and put them in a plastic bag. The worms eventually ate little holes in the bag, chewing through the plastic at an alarming rate.