Behavior of polyethylene films in soil

Viktória Vargha, Gabriella Rétháti, Tamás Heffner, Krisztina Pogácsás, László Korecz, Zsolt László, Imre Czinkota, László Tolner, Ottó Kelemen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


A true-to life experiment on the behaviour of polyethylene films in soil was carried out. Commercial middle density polyethylene (MDPE) film, MDPE films containing pro-oxidative additives and thermoplastic starch and a commercially available biodegradable film (Ecovio, BASF) have been buried in soil and monitored monthly for one year. Bags made out of the films were filled with and surrounded with brown forest soil and electrodes were put into the soil inside the bag and into the soil surrounding the bag. The soil served as capacitor. Degradation could be monitored weekly by measuring the capacity and conductivity of the soil without removing the bags from it. Visual, mechanical (Instron), structural (FTIR, ESR) and morphological (POM, SEM) changes in the films and the change in molecular mass were tested monthly. The polyethylene films suffered only some physical degradation and not biodegradation. Our life-like experiments suggest that biopacking will be the future of plastics waste disposal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-68
Number of pages9
JournalPeriodica Polytechnica Chemical Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Degradation in soil
  • Material testing
  • Polyethylene film

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Behavior of polyethylene films in soil'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Vargha, V., Rétháti, G., Heffner, T., Pogácsás, K., Korecz, L., László, Z., Czinkota, I., Tolner, L., & Kelemen, O. (2016). Behavior of polyethylene films in soil. Periodica Polytechnica Chemical Engineering, 60(1), 60-68.