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Can you think of life without plastic? Plastic is currently one of the most common materials. It’s used for most containers and it’s even in your clothes! But what happens to this plastic? Some gets recycled but a lot of it gets thrown away. That means it often ends up in the environment where it can break down and change. 

We wanted to see what happens to different types of plastic when we exposed them to different types of soil. We put small disks of plastic in different environments for 32 days. We then compared the plastics exposed to soil to plastic that was not exposed to soil to see how the surface and other properties changed. We also wanted to see whether any bacteria grew on the plastic. Our data proved that all plastics change when exposed to soil. But they experience different changes because they have different properties.

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