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News item: WCI Student Isolates Microbe that Lunches on Plastic Bags

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2 comments, last: May-15-2009   Add a comment   Contributor:  TheTeam (Nov-25-2008)    Play a Video
Optimism: 4 Categories: Economic/Financial, Peak Oil/Gas & Energy Demand, Pollution

High schooler Daniel Burd with some of his science projectWaterloo, Canada - Getting ordinary plastic bags to rot away like banana peels would be an environmental dream come true.

After all, we produce 500 billion a year worldwide and they take up to 1,000 years to decompose. They take up space in landfills, litter our streets and parks, pollute the oceans and kill the animals that eat them.

Now a Waterloo teenager has found a way to make plastic bags degrade faster – in three months, he figures.

Daniel Burd's project won the top prize at the Canada-Wide Science Fair in Ottawa. He came back with a long list of awards, including a $10,000 prize, a $20,000 scholarship, and recognition that he has found a practical way to help the environment.

Daniel, a 16-year-old Grade 11 student at Waterloo Collegiate Institute, got the idea for his project from everyday life.

"Almost every week I have to do chores and when I open the closet door, I have this avalanche of plastic bags falling on top of me," he said. "One day, I got tired of it and I wanted to know what other people are doing with these plastic bags."... Read the full article

See original news item: The Waterloo Record, Nov-22-2008  
Related PlanetThoughts.org reading:
  A World Of Plastic (Article And InfoGraphic) (Aug-2-2011)
  I Think This Is A Good Idea, At Least Where I Li... (May-13-2011)
  The Majestic Plastic Bag (Jan-27-2011)
  Recycling? What A Waste. (Oct-17-2010)
  Vegan Jelloware Re-Invents The Disposable Cup (Aug-14-2010)
  Dirty Little Secret: Who Wants To Live Forever (... (May-19-2010)
  Plastics In Oceans Decompose, Release Hazardous ... (Aug-29-2009)
  Plastic Marine Debris: What We Know (Aug-21-2009)
  Would You Email a Complaint About Extra Packagin... (Jul-23-2009)
  Boy Discovers Microbe that Eats Plastic (Jul-12-2009)

Click one tag to see readings related specifically to that tag; click "Tags" to see all related readings
  
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Comment by:  PT (David Alexander) (May-15-2009)   Web site
A variety of steps are needed -- for example, the bioplastics do not decompose rapidly enough unless placed in a favorable environment (controlled temperature, and certain microbes). Also, I bought compostable kitchen garbage bags. But they are so weak and tear so easily that I only use them for paper trash. We all have some work to do.
  
Comment by: cottonbag (Tilly Flynn) (May-15-2009)   Web site

Wow, that really is food for thought!

I hope we can eventually get to a stage were plastic bags are able to be biodegraded without harming the environment.

  
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About contributor Member: TheTeam (PlanetThoughts Team) TheTeam (PlanetThoughts Team)

Member: TheTeam (PlanetThoughts Team) The volunteers of PlanetThoughts.org are happy to give you their best selection of news, opinion, reviews, stories, quotes, tips, and more. We hope you enjoy the reading... and thinking. Thanks!

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