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Decomposition of bio-degradable plastic spoonsFeatured science projectScience project video

Abstract

This science fair project was done to evaluate the rate of decomposition of bio-degradable plastic in the natural environment. Biodegradable spoons are supposed to decompose with time, but exactly how soon does this process take place? The experiment involved using disposable spoons made from corn starch, wheat and plastic. These spoons were planted in soil.

Hypothesis

Bio-degradable spoons lose some of their weight as quickly as within 30 days after being kept in soil

Scientific Terms

Biodegradable, decomposition, microorganisms, metabolize, composting, greenhouse gas

Background

Biodegradable plastic

Bio-degradable plastic materials are able to degrade and decompose over time under natural environmental conditions. The degradation of these bio-degradable plastics is achieved by allowing micro-organisms to metabolize on their surface and decompose the plastic into smaller parts and less harmful materials.

The decomposing of bio-degradable plastic can be done by natural composting or in a landfill. Moisture and oxygen are normally required for the decomposition process to take place and these conditions are readily available in most composting facilities.

Some of the concerns over the use of bio-degradable plastics are the release of carbon dioxide during the decomposition process. The release of carbon dioxide into the environment contributes to the release of greenhouse gases, which cause global warming. However most bio-degradable plastics are made from natural plant material ? and these plants hav consume and reduce carbon dioxide gas in our atmosphere.

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Complexity level:
8
Project cost ($):
0
Time required:
1 hour to prepare, 31 days for the science project experiment
Material availability:
Easily found
Safety concerns:

Basic safety requirements

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