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General Environmental Science Science Fair Project

Identifying Biodegradable Materials

Identifying Biodegradable Materials | Science Fair Projects | STEM Projects
Have you ever wondered which materials will break down and which won't? Join us to find out! We'll be using soil, water, and different materials like plastic, wood, metal, paper, and styrofoam to see which ones break down the fastest.


The hypothesis is that biodegradable materials will break down faster than non-biodegradable materials.

Method & Materials

You will separate into groups, fill bottles with soil, add materials, cover with soil, and sprinkle with water. You will also record initial observations and make guesses about which materials will break down first and last.
You will need six 2 liter plastic bottles with tops partially cut off, soil, water, scraps of vegetables, plastic, wood, metal, paper, styrofoam, labels for each category, and tape.


After completing the experiment, it was found that biodegradable materials broke down faster than non-biodegradable materials. This observation stands out because it shows that separating biodegradable materials to allow those to degrade, while minimizing non-biodegradable materials, will minimize the trash generated.

Why do this project?

This science project is interesting and unique because it allows students to observe the breakdown of different materials in a controlled environment.

Also Consider

Experiment variations to consider include testing different types of biodegradable materials, such as food scraps, and testing different types of non-biodegradable materials, such as glass or rubber.

Full project details

You can find additional information and details for this science fair project here. Have fun exploring!

Related video

Hey there! Here are some awesome videos about this science project that we think you'll really like. They're not only super fun, but they'll also help you learn more about the science behind the project. So sit back, relax, and get ready to have some fun!!
Learn about biodegradable and non-biodegradable materials!
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