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Plastic Bags Decomposed in 3 Months!

Posted By M.L. Card On May 29, 2008 @ 4:12 am In Green Infrastructure, Pollution & Waste | 1 Comment

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The world produces 500 billion plastic bags at a cost of more than 1.6 billion barrels of oil per year. All the plastic that has ever been created is still in existence just in smaller and smaller pieces. In an experiment for a science fair project, 16 year old Daniel Burd has developed a method that decomposes plastic bags in 3 months. In the experiment, Burd used microorganisms to break down plastics. Specifically, he isolated Sphingomonas and Pseudomonas which are 2 strains of bacteria “that work together to consume polyethylene plastic [2] at record rates.” After just six weeks, plastic bags were 43% decomposed and water and a minuscule amount of carbon dioxide were the only by-products. Burd used a fermenter to grow the microbes. According to him “it is cheap, energy efficient and easily scalable for industrial applications.”

Source [3]



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[1] Image: http://got2begreen.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/plasticbag21.jpg

[2] polyethylene plastic: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/05/20/icff-2008-xs-garbage-chair/

[3] Source: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/05/28/breakthrough-decomposes-plastic-bags-in-three-months/#more-11201

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