SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Biodegradable plastic. Coloured scanning electron micrograph of the surface of a sheet of biodegradable plastic. The spherical object (orange) seen embedded in the surface here is a granule of starch. When the plastic is buried in soil, the starch grains take up water and expand. This breaks the plastic into many small fragments, increasing the contact area with the bacteria in the soil which digest the plastic. Magnification: x1250 at 6x7cm size.
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