Baggy Science

It is with mild interest that I have just been reading a carrier bag.

Not many people can say that. Mainly because most people don’t read carrier bags, but also because anyone who does probably can’t say they do so with any degree of interest. This plastic bag is 100% degradable* but you can still reuse it! Thus says the large print on my Co-Op bag. Normal people probably glance at it and are content to leave it at that; I, however, cannot ignore the enticing lure of an asterisk in any circumstance. Hence my opening statement about my detailed reading of said carrier bag.

Apparently my plastic bag will start to degrade in approximately 18 months from the date of its manufacture (which, helpfully, can be found on the bottom of the bag). The whole process will take about 3 years.

I am understandably intrigued.

What will the bag look like as it starts to degrade? Will I be able to keep a photo diary of the degradation process? At the end of the 3-year-long ordeal, will it just have vanished into thin air, or will there be a small pile of dust in its place? Obviously, this will be a fascinating scientific study. Also, perhaps I can sue them under the Trade Descriptions Act if the bag is still in existence after the agreed time period has elapsed.

So, for the record, my carrier bag was manufactured in June this year. That means that by this time next year, the plastic should have started to degrade. By Christmas 2011, it will have vanished completely. Like magic, only scientific! It is all very exciting. I have placed my experimental bag in the kitchen, inside a camel-shaped mug that The Sister brought me from Tunisia. Now all we do is wait expectantly for the magic to begin.

Not that I’m likely to forget about an experiment on such a level as this, but if you happen to be someone who has randomly stumbled across this blog entry in December 2011, do you think you could be a sweetheart and leave me a comment to remind me to check on my science project? Awfully good of you, thanks.

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