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Grand Award

Third Place
HS-ENV35

Effects of Dihydrogen Oxide and Sodium Chloride On Biodegradable Materials to Measure Concentration of Salinity, Humidity, and Climate

Environmental Studies
Cathleen Velasco

Grade:
10
Teacher:
Elyse Wexler

Compostable plastic bags are used in everyday packaging food products such as chocolates, energy bars, condiments and sauces, and chip bags such as Sun Chips. These biodegradable plastics are derived from natural origins like plants, animals, and certain species of bacteria and they can be decomposed by the action of other living organisms usually microbes, such as bacteria and fungi changing them into water, carbon dioxide, and biomass. Biodegradable products break down and decompose by themselves. Unlike non-biodegradable products that stay in the environment for hundreds of years, biodegradable products break down into simpler substances through microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi. Microorganisms eat the organic materials in the products, which is what is able to simplify the substances. Because of this, biodegradable products can give back to the environment without causing issues in the future. Biodegradable materials will immediately reduce the accumulation of waste in landfills, which minimizes human overall impact on the environment. In this experiment, decomposition will be set up, they will all have the same amount of potting soil, brown and green scraps. However, Bin 2 will have an additional 500 mL of a 3.6% saline solution added to the potting soil. Four test materials, which are compostable produce bag, Sun Chips bag, paper bag, and reusable cotton tote bag, will be inserted in each of the compost bins and the humidity and temperature will be taken every 3 days and weekly replenishment of the compost will be done for a period of 15 weeks.


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