Plastic bags, often made form oil-based polymers, are not widely recycled. This has sparked material engineers to invent commercially available bioplastics, made from natural polymer materials such as starch, which are compostable and degradable.
In this activity students will compare how plastic and potato (a proxy for starch-based bioplastic) degrade in different conditions. Please note that results cannot be gathered in the same lesson.
Students may cause injury with knives and cork borers. Demonstrate how to conduct investigation safely.
A top tip is to count the knives and borers handed out and returned, collecting them in after step 1 and 2 of the activity.
Part of:Common Seas Ocean Plastics Academy
Science | Ages 11-14
Ocean Plastics Science is a Key Stage 3 (KS3) resource combining both biology and chemistry. Students discover the journey plastic takes from manufacture, use, and disposal into the ocean. Included are teacher resources that allow students to emulate real research conducted by The University of Plymouth.