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Biodegradable Plastics *

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Areas of Science Materials Science
Difficulty
Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
*Note: For this science project you will need to develop your own experimental procedure. Use the information in the summary tab as a starting place. If you would like to discuss your ideas or need help troubleshooting, use the Ask An Expert forum. Our Experts won't do the work for you, but they will make suggestions and offer guidance if you come to them with specific questions.

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Abstract

Plastics are made of polymers, chemical structures containing many repeated subunits. How does the polymer type of a plastic affect the biodegradability of the plastic? Do research on how plastic is made and what types of polymers are used for making different plastics. Can you learn to make your own plastic? What materials can you use for making plastic that is biodegradable? Test biodegradability by burying plastic samples for different lengths of time. (Kadar, 2004) Reducing solid waste and consumption of non-renewable resources are both worthy goals. Coming up with a biodegradable plastic gets you only part of the way there. In order to be a substitute for petroleum-based plastics, a biodegradable plastic needs additional material properties that available plastics have. For a more advanced project, consider these other properties, too. For example, would a biodegradable plastic be strong? Inexpensive? Would it last long enough to do its job?

Bibliography

Kadar, Z.J., 2004. "Biodegradable Plastic, "California State Science Fair Project Abstract [accessed April 26, 2006] http://cssf.usc.edu/History/2004/Projects/J1124.pdf.

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MLA Style

Science Buddies Staff. "Biodegradable Plastics." Science Buddies, 28 July 2017, https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/MatlSci_p034/materials-science/biodegradable-plastics?class=AQUCmetTGrn7vZdxYze4ZfLAkVzTqt0MQDpGH9Sx1cYL3BgORqXg2tgo44699NpgKgvw9O2uAgeYrv8ccNySG4JG. Accessed 3 June 2020.

APA Style

Science Buddies Staff. (2017, July 28). Biodegradable Plastics. Retrieved from https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/MatlSci_p034/materials-science/biodegradable-plastics?class=AQUCmetTGrn7vZdxYze4ZfLAkVzTqt0MQDpGH9Sx1cYL3BgORqXg2tgo44699NpgKgvw9O2uAgeYrv8ccNySG4JG


Last edit date: 2017-07-28

Experimental Procedure

For this science project you will need to develop your own experimental procedure. Use the information in the summary tab as a starting place. If you would like to discuss your ideas or need help troubleshooting, use the Ask An Expert forum. Our Experts won't do the work for you, but they will make suggestions and offer guidance if you come to them with specific questions.

If you want a Project Idea with full instructions, please pick one without an asterisk (*) at the end of the title.

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