5-speed listening (Biodegradable Plastic - Level 4)

Scientists make biodegradable plastic






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Plastic has polluted the countryside and endangered wildlife for decades. Environmentalists told us to cut the amount we use or switch to biodegradable alternatives. Scientists have now made a biodegradable plastic, so the billions of plastic bags, cups, straws, etc. that we throw away each day could be "compostable". They could break down like organic waste. The plastic breaks down within weeks, rather than centuries, using just heat and water.

This new plastic has enzymes inside it. When these enzymes are exposed to heat and water, they eat away at the plastic and turn it into nutrients for the soil. A professor said 98 per cent of the plastic her team made degraded. She said: "We are...saying that we are on the right track. We can solve this continuing problem of single-use plastics." She added: "Look at all the wasted stuff we throw away - clothing, shoes, electronics....We are taking things from the earth at a faster rate than we can return them."

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