Freshkills Park Blog

Plastic bag breakthrough?

Plastic bags are an environmental bane: they take a really, really long time to decompose in landfills, they’re the largest pollutant in the world’s oceans, and the general the accumulation of plastics is “one of the most ubiquitous and long-lasting recent changes to the surface of our planet.”

Enter Daniel Burd.  The 16-year-old winner of the 2008 Canada-Wide Science Fair has deduced a way to make plastic bags decompose in a matter of months.  Burd mixed together ordinary household chemicals, yeast and water, then added the mixture to ground-up polyethlene plastic bags and dirt.  After three months of bacterial culture growth and further tests on full polyethlene strips, he identified two types of bacteria which, at the right concentration and temperature, can produce 43% degradation of plastic within six weeks.  The byproducts of the process were water and a small amount of carbon dioxide.  He now looks forward to trying the process at an industrial level.

(via WebEcoist)

August 31, 2009 - Posted by | FKP | , , ,

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