Devise an activity to show that organic waste is bio degradable  while plastic is not.

Collect garbage from your house before it is thrown into the dustbin. Separate the garbage into two groups.

In A group, include wastes such as polythene bags, chips packets, empty plastic bottles, plastic toys, etc. In B group, include only kitchen wastes like peels of fruits and vegetables, waste food, newspaper, and garden wastes like dead leaves and other plant parts.

Bury this material separately in two pots and label them as A and B. Remove the top soil after one week, and check the status of the garbage. Then, approximately after four weeks, check the condition of the garbage again.


It will be observed that the waste in pot B decomposes, while the waste in pot A does not decompose.

The waste in pot B does not rot completely. However, it gives a bad odour after one week. But, after four weeks the waste rots almost completely and becomes odourless. It no longer has the original material and is now dark brown in colour.

What is the reason for making this observation? What is the difference between the waste kept in pot A and waste kept in pot B?

The difference is that the waste (plastic) kept in pot A is non-biodegradable, while the waste (organic waste) kept in pot B is biodegradable.

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1)Take two pots and label them A and B.

2)In pot A put alternating layers of soil and organic waste(eg. fruit and vegetable peels).

3)In pot B put alternating layers of soil and plastic waste(eg. toffee wrappers, used pens, plastic bags).  

  • We use soil in both cases because it contains microorganisms which decompose matter.

5)Sprinkle water in both pots everyday to help the growth of the microorganisms for the process of decomposition. 

After a few weeks turn over the soil in pot A using a small shovel/spade. You find that the fruit and vegetable peels in the pot will have turned to humus and mixed with the soil.

Turn over the soil in pot B and you will see that the plastic wastes are still present in the soil.

This shows that organic waste is biodegradable while plastic is not.

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