Title

The effect of high density polyethylene size on decomposition rate

Author(s)

Sera Zell, SVHS

School Name

Spring Valley High School

Grade Level

10th Grade

Presentation Topic

Environmental Science

Presentation Type

Non-Mentored

Abstract

As technology evolves there is a constant increase in plastic production and waste. In fact, an estimate 8 million tons of plastic waste is dumped in the ocean every year. This research was conducted on the decomposition rate of high density polyethylene, a plastic is many common plastic products. The purpose of this experiment was to study the effect of high density polyethylene size has decomposition rate. It was hypothesized that microplastics (squares of plastic between 1 mm2 and 25 mm2) would have a higher decomposition than macroplastics (squares with a surface area greater than 400 mm2) in the span of a month. Thirty squares of microplastics and thirty squares of macroplastics were placed in cups of potting soil. These cups were placed outside under a covered area, and were left for one month to decompose. Plastics were massed beforehand and after hand, and a percent decomposition was calculated. A two sample t-test determined that there was a statistically significant difference in microplastics and macroplastics showing that macroplastics, had a higher decomposition percentage.

Location

Lassiter 222

Start Date

4-14-2018 9:00 AM

Presentation Format

Oral and Written

COinS
 
Apr 14th, 9:00 AM

The effect of high density polyethylene size on decomposition rate

Lassiter 222

As technology evolves there is a constant increase in plastic production and waste. In fact, an estimate 8 million tons of plastic waste is dumped in the ocean every year. This research was conducted on the decomposition rate of high density polyethylene, a plastic is many common plastic products. The purpose of this experiment was to study the effect of high density polyethylene size has decomposition rate. It was hypothesized that microplastics (squares of plastic between 1 mm2 and 25 mm2) would have a higher decomposition than macroplastics (squares with a surface area greater than 400 mm2) in the span of a month. Thirty squares of microplastics and thirty squares of macroplastics were placed in cups of potting soil. These cups were placed outside under a covered area, and were left for one month to decompose. Plastics were massed beforehand and after hand, and a percent decomposition was calculated. A two sample t-test determined that there was a statistically significant difference in microplastics and macroplastics showing that macroplastics, had a higher decomposition percentage.