To accompany “Here’s how to make flip-flops biodegradable”
1. What do scientists mean when they say a something is “biodegradable?”
2. What is composting and why is it good for the environment?
1. What makes up the plastic core of most flip-flops?
2. Where do the ingredients in polyurethane come from?
3. What are polyols and what role does algae play in their production?
4. What role do microbes play in the process of biodegradation?
5. What are ester groups?
6. What happens to ester bonds when they come in contact with groups of microbes in soil and compost?
7. Why does Stephanie Liffland of the University of Minnesota want to know whether seawater will breakdown the new algae-based foam?
1. What might be some other uses for algae-based plastic? Explain your answer.
2. Do you think it is beneficial for scientists to continue to find new ways of making certain products biodegradable? Why or why not? Explain your answer.