The Effects of Different Recyclable Plastics on Carbon Dioxide Emissions

The objective of the research was to determine which recyclable plastic emits the greatest amount of carbon dioxide when it is burned.  Carbon dioxide, CO2, is a greenhouse gas that causes global warming, and plastic emits carbon dioxide when it is burned.  Three different plastics with different recycle codes (polyethylene terephthalate #1, polypropylene #5, and polystyrene #6) were burned.  The carbon dioxide emissions were measured with a carbon dioxide meter, in parts per million.  The data was analyzed with an Analysis of Variance Test, and the data was found to be significant.  Different recyclable plastics do emit large amounts of carbon dioxide, which contributes to the rising values of carbon in the atmosphere.  The experiment was an important undertaking because it discloses which type of plastics should not be burned in order to keep carbon dioxide emissions low.  This is productive in helping the “green” movement because it can inform environmentalists, regular citizens and the like about decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.

Research Done By:

Jordan Frontiero
Lake Shore High School

Anna Swando
Lakeview High School