Monday, November 22, 2010

Half Way

Regular readers will hopefully remember I am putting the Paper Mate Biodegradable Mechanical pencil to the test. Well, 6 months is up, time to dig up ole Papermate Biodegradable and check him out. So, just as a reminder, here we have the gravesite test site.
paper mate biodegradable test site

Now then, lets dig down about 30-40mm (1 1/2 inches) to uncover our test subject.
paper mate biodegradable pencil in soil

First glance doesn't show any changes.

Let's have a closer look. Note I have just brushed a little dirt off. I didn't want to wash or clean it for fear that would remove too many micro-greeblies, and set the whole decomposition process back.

Well, the surface etc all looks in pretty good condition. The green colour of the top section has lightened, and much of the Paper Mate printing on the barrel has vanished. I guess they are the tastiest bits to the relevant species of microscopic life in my garden soil?

The Paper Mate website states:
Paper Mate® Biodegradable* products have been tested according to internationally recognized standards ISO 17556 and ISO 20200. Tests confirmed that, under normal temperature conditions found in soil/home compost, the product’s biodegradable components biograde (sic) in about a year.
Appears to me those micro-greeblies are really going to have to build up a powerful hunger if they are going to eat the rest of that pencil in the next six months.

Well, Paper Mate Biodegradable is now buried again, see you in another 6 months.


Matthias said...

This test was really a great idea :) ...I am looking forward to seeing how this pen looks like in another six months.

Time Waster said...

If papermate was serious they should be made of rigid cardboard that doesn't stain. Moisture and bacteria might have something to do with the rate of decomposition.

Anonymous said...

I wish you had a control sample, like cardboard, other plastics, wood, rubber, metal to compare with the pencil. After all, if nothing can decompose, then we can't blame the pencil either for not decomposing.

Stephen Wright

Kiwi-d said...

Well they claim it will decompose "under normal temperature conditions found in soil/home compost" and I believe my garden counts as that so I didn't consider the need for those types of controls. I did deliberately use another pencil as the marker - half in and half out of the soil to compare decomposition under those variables.

I'll consider burying some cardboard next to it.

Anonymous said...

Is the tip retracted or Is it biodegraded away?


Kiwi-d said...

The tip is a separate piece - it there in the last photo, and up by the the pocket clip in the second photo.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the misunderstanding... I meant the lead sleeve..


Kiwi-d said...

The lead sleeve is not one of the biodegradable components so it is in the rubbish bin.

Unknown said...

I just got 2 of the Pens.......wonder what it will look like in 2 months from now! (March)