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Recycling research

Key Club members from Tampa Bay Tech High School in Tampa, Florida, assemble a chain of plastic bags.Did you know how long it takes for a plastic bag to decompose? The New York Times and Penn State University have both claimed it takes 10-20 years for plastic bags to decompose, but according to quite a few other references on the Internet, it may take hundreds of years.

The Key Club of Tampa Bay Tech High School in Tampa, Florida, recently participated in a plastic bag recycling project designed to educate members and others about the amount of litter that’s deposited in the earth if plastic bags aren’t recycled.

The club members gathered before an already scheduled Saturday morning school clean up and brought with them plastic grocery bags to tie together. “We spent about 30 minutes tying more than 200 plastic bags together and stretched out the line as far as we could. It stretched over our entire student parking lot. Then we rolled the bags up into a big ball to show the physical size of the ‘trash,’” says Morena Hadziselimovic, the club’s president.

“It was an eye-opening project because our members got to see the mind-boggling amount of plastic bags, and it was a shock because our club of 130 members collected an incredible amount of trash,” Hadziselimovic says.

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