Bioplastics and their Role in Saving our Planet
Island Pacific School
Floor Location : J 173 V
Most people have heard of the growing problems with plastics. The fossil fuels that make up plastic are made of oil which takes millions of years to be created. Carbon emissions are increased when plastics are made. Plastics take millions of years to break down and some will never break down at all. Plastics often end up in waterways and the ocean. Plastics are often mistaken for food and harm the animals who try to eat them. Plastics are useful and important materials but they are being used so much that they are harming the environment and animals on the planet. In recent years scientist have been experimenting with plastics that are more environmentally friendly, break down faster and take less energy to make. One of the solutions that has currently being tested and has had a lot of attention is bioplastics, plastics made from more “environmentally friendly” materials with the basic idea that they will be able to go back into the earth and decompose without hurting the environment. My goal was to create a plastic that was both durable and strong but also will decompose when it's no longer useful. For my experiment I made multiple different recipes of bioplastics all with different properties and textures, then I tested the most promising ones for durability (strength) and their ability to fully decompose. I learned that even the smallest ingredient change can completely change the durability and the texture of the plastic. I made 6 different recipes of bioplastics but I only test the top three that showed the most promise (in terms of durability and effectiveness). My result was that my own recipe (the one that I came up with using the knowledge I learned from my research) was the most durable and fastest to decompose.
I was happy to discover that I could make a bioplastic using simple materials that can be found at the local drugstore. This is important because 90 percent of the materials that we use contain plastic. Knowing that plastics made from petrochemicals are so detrimental to the environment, we can now switch to more environmentally plastic.