The effect of the environment on the decomposition of different types of material

Student: Liam Johnson
Table: 105
Experimentation location: Home
Regulated Research (Form 1c): No
Project continuation (Form 7): No

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The purpose of this project is to test which type of disposable plate will decompose the fastest so that I can better understand which choices are better for the environment because they reduce waste and pollution. Decomposition is when materials break down. Some materials break down faster than others. Materials that break down quickly cause less pollution. Environmental factors such as sun, wind, rain, and worms help the decomposition process. Understanding which disposable plate is better for the environment will help me make better choices about other single use items like coffee cups, straws, water bottles and shopping bags.


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Research Plan:


Which type of disposable plate will decompose the fastest?
Products made from natural material like paper and bamboo will decompose faster than manufactured materials like plastic and Styrofoam because paper and bamboo plates are made from trees which break down naturally in the environment, but plastic and Styrofoam plates are made from petroleum which does not break down naturally.
  • Paper Plate
  • Bamboo Plate
  • Plastic Plate
  • Styrofoam Plate
  • Ceramic Plate
  • 5 Large Pots
  • 5 Plants
  • 5 Quarters
  • Gravel
  • Soil
  • Labels for Pots
  • Garden Shovel
  1. Label pot
  2. Place rocks in bottom of pot
  3. Add soil to pot
  4. Put plate in pot
  5. Put quarter next to plate
  6. Cover plate with more soil and a plant
  7. Repeat for each type of plate
  8. Put pots in backyard and wait six months
  9. Remove soil
  10. Record observations



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