In case you have any plans to soak up the brand new Asian Arts Initiative show in Philadelphia, be ready to see some distinctive works. Two of them will contain sculptures made out of Styrofoam. The sculptures themselves could not strike you as something uncommon. However look nearer and you will notice 1000’s of meal worms consuming the sculptures for lunch.
In keeping with PBS station WHYY, native artist Narendra Haynes has created the 2 sculptures as a approach to elevate ecological consciousness and inventive methods to market it. He discovered in regards to the plastic-eating capabilities of meal worms some years in the past. He was so impressed that he now makes meal worms an integral a part of his art work.
Styrofoam Is Junk Meals
Haynes says that Styrofoam is just about junk meals to meal worms. They achieve no dietary benefit from consuming it. So he has additionally added oats and potatoes to his sculptures. Over the 5 months the 2 items shall be displayed in Philly, the meal worms will flip the Styrofoam right into a dirt-like substance whereas they rework into mature beetles.
Haynes isn’t fairly positive what the ensuing substance really is. He’s hoping to work with colleagues on the College of Pennsylvania to determine it out. Within the meantime, no matter it’s the meal worms are producing positive seems to be and smells like grime.
From Artificial to Pure
The method of turning Styrofoam right into a dirt-like substance has been categorized by Haynes and others as a strategy of going from artificial to pure. Such pondering is comprehensible given the truth that we assume huge variations between artificial and pure supplies.
Styrofoam could also be artificial within the sense that it’s manufactured by means of a man-made chemical course of. But all of the substances that go into Styrofoam are pure. The identical goes for all plastics. The reality is that plastics are petroleum merchandise. Moreover, petroleum is a pure substance. It’s produced by the Earth itself.
At any fee, it could be fascinating if somebody had been capable of give you a course of that depends solely on meal worms to recycle all kinds of plastic. Scaling would positively be an issue. So would time. However nonetheless, it could be a formidable feat to determine methods to maintain plastics out of landfills by feeding it to meal worms.
Shredding and Grinding It
Whereas researchers work on a meal worm resolution, there are fairly efficient methods to recycle sure sorts of plastic by shredding or grinding it. Take PET water bottles. PET is essentially the most recycled plastic on this planet. Recyclers shred it into effective flakes that may be melted down and become new plastic bottles or fibers that may be spun to make materials.
In keeping with Seraphim Plastics, a Tennessee firm that recycles scrap plastic in seven states, PET recycling is cost-effective when it’s carried out the correct method. PET is among the plastics Seraphim recycles. However the firm additionally recycles different sorts of industrial scrap plastic by turning it into regrind.
Regrind is actually small plastic pellets which can be produced by sending industrial plastic scrap by highly effective grinders. Producers buy regrind and add it to virgin plastic throughout the manufacturing course of.
Scale back and Reuse
In an odd kind of method, each grinding and feeding Styrofoam to meal worms is a approach to scale back and reuse. Each provide alternative ways to assault the plastic waste drawback. Each produce totally different outcomes.
In Philadelphia, feeding Styrofoam to meal worms shall be artwork for the following few months. Maybe it is going to spark some new and revolutionary ideas about methods to higher recycle plastic sooner or later. If nothing else, the shows shall be fascinating to have a look at.