We use plastic everyday, from forks and spoons to computers! Plastic is used so much because it lasts a long time and is very strong! But, why does it take over 400 years for ONE plastic bottle to break down? It is because microorganisms don’t know how to decompose it!
Plastic is a new invention that contains human-made polymers or chains of molecules. That is what makes plastic so strong. Microorganisms, like bacteria and fungi break old materials and scraps down into soil. They can do this easily with materials that come from nature, like fruit and vegetable scraps and even paper! But, since plastic is very strong and is new to the microorganisms, it takes a lot of time for the microorganisms to figure out how to break down the strong plastics. That is why plastic can last so long!!