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Recycled resin plastics can improve plant growth while reducing environmental waste. (Pre-College Poster Session 03:00 PM).


Plastics are important to society. Many household products, packaging and consumer products are made of plastics. Society uses resin plastics faster than they can decompose. This project investigates a way to recycle resin plastics by pulverizing the plastics and using them as a soil supplement. Six different types of resin plastics were pulverized and used in this experiment: Polyethylene Terephthalate, (PETE), High Density Polyethylene, (HDPE), Vinyl, (V), Low Density Polyethylene, (LDPE), Polypropylene, (PP), and Polystyrene, (PS). The resin plastics were obtained from everyday items, such as a soda bottle or a grocery bag. Soybeans, corn and string beans were the plants tested in this experiment because they are some of Ohio's main crops. The plants were grown from November 2001--March 2002. It is hypothesized that pulverized resin plastics will reduce environmental waste and improve plant growth. Each plant was grown separately with each type of resin plastic. A layer of the pulverized plastics covered the seeds, and more soil was placed over the plastic layer. Each test was run twice and compared to the control. The pH level of the soil was tested to ensure that the plastics did not affect the pH level of the soil. The amount of water in the soil was also tested to determine if the pulverized resin plastics helped trap water in the soil. The height of each plant was taken and compared to its control. Pulverizing resin plastics will reduce its volume and primarily reduce the amount of space it would occupy, thus reducing environmental waste. The pulverized plastics also aided in the growth of the plants. All string bean and soybean plants with pulverized plastics in their soil grew taller than their controls. Plastic PETE aided best in the growth of the string bean and soybean plants. This pulverized plastic kept the most amount of water in the soil. The results show that plants with more water stored in the soil by the plastics, grew the tallest in the time provided. Pulverized plastics in the soil increase the process of string bean and soybean growth, which may ultimately benefits farmers and the consumer of these products.

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Article Details
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Author:Boykin, Alicia D.
Publication:The Ohio Journal of Science
Article Type:Abstract
Geographic Code:1U3OH
Date:Mar 1, 2003
Previous Article:A theoretical approach to the optimal length of a musical scale. (Pre-College Poster Session 03:00 PM).
Next Article:A comparative study of diversity in three forest ecosystems in North East Ohio. (Pre-College Poster Session 03:00 PM).

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