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Disappearing Act: How fast do certain materials biodegrade

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Sidney Webb

on 7 February 2014

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Transcript of Disappearing Act: How fast do certain materials biodegrade

Disappearing Act: How fast do certain materials biodegrade
Sidney Webb

Purpose
The purpose is to compare the biodegradability of different chip bags to the Sun Chip bag.

Hypothesis
If you test Fritos, Doritios, and Cheetos against the Sun Chip bag, then the Sun Chip bag should be more biodegradable because of the claims that the Sun Chip bag is biodedgradable.
What is biodegradability?
Audioenglish.org defines biodegrade as “break down naturally through the action of biological agents”.
A lot of things that are thrown into landfills will never break down for example:
It will take approximately three months for a notebook to decompose but a simple glass bottle might never biodegrade


Harm of Biodegradability
Things are thrown in landfills everywhere and a lot of these items will probably stay there for a very long time. Instead of throwing these things away they could be recycled correctly which could stop many landfills from filling up and flowing over into water supplies
When they are disposed of improperly things such as plastic bags, synthetics, plastic bottles, tin cans, and computer hardware cannot be broken down naturally to be dissolved with the surrounding land.
Sun Chip Bag
Noticing the harm of overflowing landfills, one business came out with the first chip bag that was one hundred percent biodegradable. Frito-Lay came out with the Sun Chip bag that was one hundred percent compostable.
At first many people loved idea, but soon they started to complain that the bag was too “loud”. So the producers of the bag pulled the bag and apparently came out with the newer bag that is not as loud and is biodegradable. .
The Sun Chip bag will be tested along with Fritos, Doritios, and Cheetos bags.
Procedures
1. Located area where samples were buried-
2. Area watered with water

3. After 24 hours, 6 holes were dug with a shovel.
4. Each hole was 30 x 30 cm and 10cm deep.

5. Samples were used and in fair condition
6. Placed one of each sample in each hole
7. Covered the samples with soil.
8. Identified the spots with markers
9. After 2 weeks, came back and dug one sample up, did this for 4 months
10. Placed samples on tray

11. Covered each sample with the 10 x 10 acetate paper
12. Marked wherever the material is breaking down
13. Recorded the results




This project compared the biodegradability of the Sun Chip bag versus the biodegradability of other various chip bags such as Doritos, Cheetos, and Fritos. The company the produces Sun Chips claim that the bag is biodegradable, so it will decompose in whatever landfill it winds up in. This project tested the validity of the claim that the bag is biodegradable by comparing it to other bags. Based on research, the validity of the claim was supported and was tested by digging six holes and burying four of each bag in the holes, and every two weeks, coming back and comparing the amount of each that decomposed. There was little to no amount of decomposition that occurred with all three bags except on the last trial. The claims that the Sun Chip bag was more biodegradable than other bags seem to prove false, but factoring in the cold weather, which stops decomposition, and the little time consumed, there might have been more results if there were different circumstances.

All about composting. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.bpiworld.org/Approved/2.html
Frito-lay debuts quieter, biodegradable sunchips bag. (2011, March 1). Retrieved from http://www.ift.org/food-technology/daily-news/2011/march/01/fritolay-debuts-quieter-biodegradable-sunchips-bag.aspx
Gunther, M. (n.d.). Biodegradable and non-biodegradable materials. Retrieved from http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/teacher_resources/webfieldtrips/bio_nonbio_materials/
Gura, D. (2010, October 06). Noise from consumers prompts sunchips to return to traditional, quieter bags. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2010/10/06/130382547/noise-from-consumers-prompts-sunchips-to-go-back-to-traditional-packaging
Is the bag compostable. (2010, December). Retrieved from http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine-archive/2010/december/home-garden/sun-chips-bag/overview/index.htm
Data and Observations
Even though the claims that the Sun Chip bags were biodegradable, there was no significant difference in the amount of biodegradation between all four of the bags during the 4 month trial
The Sun Chips bag had about the amount of biodegradation as the Doritos and Cheetos bag so there isn’t a big difference between three bags. The Fritos bag experienced no type of biodegradation which seemed weird because the three are all made from the same consumer.
Amount of Biodegradation

Conclusion
In conclusion, the original hypothesis was rejected and the claims by the Sun Chip manufacturers were proven false.
Discussion
Based on the results, the claims by Frito Lay proved to be false. There may have been a source of error, and the weather and time frame probably affected how the bags decomposed. The bags were not expected to fully biodegrade or even do much, but based on the results, the hypothesis was rejected and the claims proved to be false.
3. After 24 hours, 6 holes were dug with a shovel.
4. Each hole was 30 x 30 cm and 10cm deep.

5. Samples were used and in fair condition
6. Placed one of each sample in each hole
7. Covered the samples with soil.
8. Identified the spots with markers
9. After 2 weeks, came back and dug one sample up, did this for 4 months
10. Placed samples on tray

11. Covered each sample with the 10 x 10 acetate paper
12. Marked wherever the material is breaking down
13. Recorded the results


Works Cited Page
Abstract
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