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Title: Impact of soil composting using municipal solid waste on biodegradation of plastics
Authors: Reddy, R Mallikarjuna
Keywords: Biodegradation
Solid waste
Soil composting
Tensile strength
Issue Date: Apr-2008
Publisher: CSIR
Abstract: Plastic wastes accumulating in the environment are posing an ever increasing ecological threat. In this context, an attempt was made to study the biodegradation of polyethylene films in the natural environment. The method suggested by ASTM standards, i.e. composting of polythene films with municipal solid waste, was adopted to examine the biodegradation of plastics in the natural environment. The samples were collected and tested for weight loss and reduction in tensile strength at 2 months interval for 12 months of composting. Loss of weight and reduction in tensile strength of polythene films were taken as the criteria indicating biodegradation of these materials. Composting of polythene films for 4 months did not show any degradation. After 4 months of composting, the loss in weight was 2.9-4.5% for HDPE films and 10.5-11.6% for LDPE films. Similarly, the reduction in tensile strength ranges from 16-20% for HDPE and 12-13% for LDPE films. The study indicates that the biodegradation of polythene films occur in natural environment at a very slower rate.
Description: 235-239
ISSN: 0972-5849
Appears in Collections: IJBT Vol.07(2) [April 2008]

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