16 Year Old Boy Wins Science Fair: Decomposing a Plastic Bag


So, I read an article about this last year but I never heard about this again. I think this is an amazing discovery. Daniel Burd, a 16 year old boy was able to decompose a plastic bag in 3 month. He designed this experiment while competing in a science fair, which he obviously won.

To decompose the plastic bags, he grounded it up into a powdery form, where he then added yeast, water, and soil. This produced microorganisms to grow and then feed off of the plastic bag, effectively decomposing half of it in only 6 weeks He predicts the total time to decompose a plastic bag would be 3 months, an amazing discovery since this process takes a 1000 years to decompose just by itself.

With this discovery made last year, I suspected that this would get more widespread media coverage, but so far I have seen none and so now I spread this article to all of you guys in class. I was hoping that this process to decompose plastics would become the new medium for recycling, but nothing has happened whatsoever involving this. The decomposition process is very simple and can be done easily on an industrial level. The only con that I see to this process is that the microorganisms release a small bit of CO2, which seems like a bad thing. But it’s effectively decomposing plastics, so maybe that could be a justifiable excuse. It’s better than leaving the plastics in landfills or the oceans, waiting for them to decompose in 1000 years.

David Dang

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