Teen figures out how to decompose plastic bags in three months

Here's an impressive science fair project: 16-year-old Waterloo, Ontario high school junior Daniel Burd wanted to try to figure out if there was a way to get plastic bags to decompose faster. As it stands, it takes thousands of years for the wasteful objects to disintegrate. But by using bacteria, he figured out how to make it happen in a mere three months.

After some trial and error experiments, he figured out that by mixing landfill dirt, yeast, tap water, and ground plastic and letting it sit, the plastic decomposed at a much higher rate than normal. It's something that can be expanded to large-scale use as well, with it being relatively energy efficient and releasing only water and a small amount of carbon dioxide in the process. Sure beats my science fair project.

The Record, via Wired Science