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Ateneo de Manila High School

Science Subject Area

A comparative study on Paspalum conjugatum (Carabao grass) as a component of

recycled cardboard food packaging against recycled commercial food packaging in terms of their

durability in particular of tensile strength.

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements in Science 3

Submitted by:

Cruz, Juergen Allen S.

Guinto, Peter Andre O.

Santos, Luis Gabriel M.

Grade 11 Section C

2016

Abstract

A comparative study on variations of pulp composition in recycled commercial food

packaging in terms of their durability in tensile strength was done in this research project.

Carabao grass was collected from common fields to be used as components for the pulp. The

pulp was then subjected to four (4) different treatments before it was made into a cardboard-like

material. The amount of corn starch and water were kept constant while the composition of

recycled cardboard and grass was varied in every treatment. Treatment A served as the control

and contained 0% grass and 100% cardboard. Treatment B had 20% grass and 80% cardboard;

treatment C had 50% grass and 50% cardboard; and treatment D, 80% grass and 20% cardboard.
The samples produced were then subjected to a simple tensile strength test. Data showed

Treatment C, 50% grass and 50% cardboard, proved to be the sheet with the greatest tensile

strength compared to the other three treatments. Results showed that there is a peak-like

correlation between the pulp composition and the tensile strength of the sheet. As there is an

inverse relationship between the grass and cardboard composition, the peak of the correlation lies

somewhat in the middle, considering that Treatment C, having the strongest tensile strength, was

at 50% in both compositions. This study is significant with the need of sustainability in the

commercial food packaging industry; with polystyrene not an option anymore due to it’s

hazardous effects, recycled cardboard is one of the better options to be used as the material for

food packaging. As such, innovations, like this research project, are needed to improve the

sustainability of an industry the greatly impacts the sustainability of an entire country.

Introduction

Polystyrene, a petroleum-based plastic made from the styrene monomer, more commonly

known as Styrofoam, can be found in almost all products, especially in beverage containment

and food packaging. This material is very efficient due to its insulation properties that are

practical with containing food and drinks and the fact that it’s about 95% air which makes

products made from this material very light-weight, but despite its proficiency when it comes to

being used as a product, styrofoam is very harmful to the environment and society. (“Polystyrene

Foam Report”)

Made from the styrene monomer, the basic building block of polystyrene; workers

exposed to styrene experience negative health effects including irritation of the skin, eyes, and

upper respiratory tract, and gastrointestinal effects. Also, chronic exposure affects the central
nervous system causing headache, fatigue, and weakness, and can cause minor effects on kidney

function and blood. The manufacturing process of this material was the 5th biggest contributor of

creating hazardous waste according to a 1986 EPA report on solid waste in which The National

Bureau of Standards Center for Fire Research determined 57 chemical byproducts released by

use of combustion of polystyrene foam. The process of producing polystyrene material pollutes

the air and makes vast amounts of solid and liquid waste. Harmful toxic chemicals seep into food

and beverages when styrofoam is heated. Most importantly, polystyrene is made out of

petroleum, which is non-renewable, not sustainable for the environment and pollutes heavily.

(“Polystyrene Foam Report”)

Since polystyrene products have been identified as a threat to sustainability and to the

environment, many citizens, cities, and even countries have started turning towards the use of

cardboard or paper products as an alternative to this harmful substance. One example of how this

is being implemented, is the house bill no. 2676, wherein the city of Metro Manila prohibits the

use of styrofoam or polystyrene materials, and instead use paper products, such as cardboard, to

reduce trash waste. Since then, food establishments, and educational institutions in Metro Manila

started using paper products to reduce the amount of non-renewable waste to their environment.

(“ACTIONS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PHILIPPINE CONGRESS

ON THE AIPA RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED DURING THE 32ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY 18

– 24 SEPTEMBER 2011, PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA”)

Since paper products come from wood pulp, an infinitely renewable source, waste from

paper products can be recycled and reused, instead of it piling up in landfills, contributing to the

decrease of non-biodegradable waste in this planet. Corrugated cardboard, made out of pulp from
plants and trees, are considered as one of the most recycled packaging materials on earth. It is

known to be 100% recyclable, and can also be mixed with other recyclable materials to add to its

durability. Corrugated cardboard is made out of 70%-90% of recycled materials, making it one

of the most “green” packaging materials used in this planet. Also, it does not include any

bleaches or dyes, which further enhance its recyclability. (“5 Environmental Advantages of

Corrugated Packaging”).

Corrugated cardboard also requires less energy to manufacture and recycle. Since it is

mostly made out of renewable and biodegradable materials (used cardboard, recycled pulp, etc.),

there is less energy required to process it into making or creating new cardboard. Moreover,

since the materials required to make corrugated cardboard are locally available, there will be

more opportunities to create sustainable forests, less money to spend in terms of transporting

materials, and even provide job opportunities to others. (“5 Environmental Advantages of

Corrugated Packaging”).

Although paper and cardboard material are the ideal products for sustainability and the

betterment of the environment, these types of products do not compare to their styrofoam

counterpart in terms of durability and strength. As a result, the experimenters decided to use

carabao grass as an additive in the material’s pulp in the making of corrugated cardboard food

packaging to increase durability and strength. Carabao grass was chosen because of its

abundance in the Philippines, and it is also easily renewable. In summary, the goal of this

experiment is to find a cheap and practical method to make paper and cardboard material as

strong, if not stronger, than regular styrofoam to conserve money, conserve power, exercise

sustainability, and provide a safer working environment that does not putworkers’ health at risk.
Problem Statement and Objectives

The purpose of this study is to determine the relationship between the presence of

Paspalum sieberianum (Carabao grass) in the pulp of corrugated cardboard food packaging and

its durability in terms of tensile strength compared to recycled commercial food packaging.

This study aims to:

- Produce a new renewable and recycled corrugated cardboard with Paspalum

sieberianum (Carabao grass) as a pulp, and regular corrugated cardboard without grass as a pulp.

- Determine the tensile strength of the textiles being used as variables in the experiment;

corrugated cardboards and styrofoam, by use of amount of mass (g) it could withstand.

- Compare and contrast the tensile strength of the carabao grass cardboard to regular

recycled corrugated cardboard and commercial styrofoam food packaging.

- Determine whether or not corrugated cardboard with carabao grass as a pulp is as

efficient as regular recycled corrugated cardboard and commercial styrofoam food packaging in

packaging food.

Hypothesis

If Paspalum sieberianum (Carabao grass) is used as a pulp in the making of corrugated

cardboard food packaging, then it’s tensile strength would be significantly higher, therefore its

durability better compared to corrugated cardboard food packaging without carabao grass as a

pulp and also commercial food packaging made of non-biodegradable material.

Review of Related Literature

I. Introduction
A. Due to the hazardous effects of polycarbonate plastics to the Philippine environment,

the significance of using alternative materials such as pa er- based products has been relevant to

the country’s condition. (Valisno)

B. The significance of biodegradability has grown in interest by way of various cities in

Metro Manila prohibiting the use of plastics in commercial use. In the same course of action, the

Philippine government promoted biodegradability in using alternatives such as products with

paper-based material; with the initiative of achieving environmental sustainability. (Valisno)

C. ln this review of related literature, the impact of biodegradability in commercial use, in

particular of food packaging will be addressed, and at the same time, the feasibility of the

relevance of the proposed research to improve the use of alternative materials for commercial use

will be discussed.

ll. Body

A. The definitions of certain terms and variables will be discussed and addressed.

1. The durability and sustainability of the material of a product refers to the quality of the
product whilst being eco-friendly. (Gabieta et al.)

a. Breaking strength is the amount of force the product could withstand.

b. Water retention is the amount of water the product could absorb

c. Qualitative results yield from the products’ appeal to the public.

2. Paspalum sieberianum (Carabao grass) is abundant in the Philippines and posses

certain qualities that would make it an efficient pulp in paper-based products.


a. It is adhesively sticky in nature due to the presence of an homeostatic glucoside in its
composition.

3. Polystyrene foam is considered as a polymer plastic and is made out of synthetic

styrene, a plastic made out of non-renewable resource petroleum. (Travers 2884,2886)

a. Due to it being made out of a non-renewable resource, most people consider it as an


environmental hazard.

4. Polycarbonate plastics are products of synthetic material produced from petroleum-

based components. They are sturdy in nature, which is why these types of materials are

frequently obtained for commercial use, in particular of food packaging. (s. 2676, 15th Cong.

2011)

a. Polystyrene falls under this collective term and is used in Styrofoam products.

b. Plastic is a broad term that pertains to polyvinyl chloride or PVC, which is used for insulation
in food packaging.

c. These non-biodegradable materials posses particular qualities that prove to be efficient in food
packaging.

5. Food packaging is the technology used for distribution of food products. By use of this

technology it would ensure the quality of products through containment and insulation. (Coles 8)

a. Commercial food packaging uses materials that are best for the quality of containment, in
terms of durability, and insulation.

b. The basic functions of food packaging pertain to containment, protection, preservation,

information about the product, convenience. presentation, bra communication, and promotion.

B. Relevant studies and legal actions about the different terms and variables will be discussed.
1. Due to Polystyrene being made out of synthetic materials, such as petroleum by

products, it does not biodegrade, and is therefore considered as a non- biodegradable material.

(Friend)

a. Due to it being made out of non-renewable resources, it degrades at an extremely slow rate.

b. It was also researched that the gases used into making polystyrene foam include

HCFC, which is considered as ozone depleting gas, making it hazardous to the environment and

to the people chronically exposed to it.

2. Based on the research of the United Stated Environmental Protection Agency, styrene

is considered as a possible carcinogen, meaning that it can disturb or disrupt the metabolic

process of a human being. (USEPR) /

a. Workers producing polystyrene products have reported acute problems such as headache, eye
irritation, and breathing problems (p6).

b. Some issues in the nervous system were also identified, including depression after chronic
exposure (p.8).

3. The Philippine government has taken action into preventing and reducing the usage of

polystyrene foam in the country, which can be seen in the House Bill 2676. (s. 2676, 15th Cong.

2011)

a. It was stated that there was a ban and reduction of polystyrene products in schools.

b. This was done due to the harmful effects of polystyrene to the environment. and to the people
who manufacture it in the Philippines.

C. Relevant and related studies similar to the current research will be discussed.

1. On an investigatory project from the Philippine High School testing the feasibility of
cogon grass (lmperafa cylindrica) as an alternative in cardboard food packaging, similar

objectives to the current research were presented (Gabieta et al.)

2. A research made by Gianni Donati of the University of San Luis Obispo made a

research paper on the recycled polystyrene foam in electronic packaging.

3. A study was conducted from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)

union catalog comparing three types of grass specifically: Saccharum spontaneoum (talahib),

Chrysopogon acicu/atus (amorseco), and Axonopus compressus (carabao grass), to determine the

best alternative source of paper.

Ill. Conclusion

A. The frequently used materials for commercial food packaging, which are non-

biodegradable, prove again and again to be hazardous to the environment. Biodegradable

alternatives need to be used and replace these hazardous materials in commercial use,

particularly in food packaging use.

B. Despite the success of the Philippine government in banning these hazardous products

in major cities, more studies need to be done in improving the eco- friendly alternatives. These

biodegradable alternatives are not as durable, economically viable and efficient compared to

hazardous yet efficient polycarbonate plastic products. The researches pertaining to improving

said alternatives hopefully would be explored and continued for the betterment of the country’s

economy and ecology. Likewise, the current research explores the viability of using an abundant

source to be used a pulp in a biodegradable alternative food packaging


“Food Packaging Technology”

Food packaging is the technology used for distribution of food products. By use of this

technology it would ensure the quality of products through containment and insulation.

Commercial food packaging uses materials that are best for the quality of containment, in terms

of durability, and insulation. The basic functions of food packaging pertain to containment,

protection, preservation, information about the product, convenience, presentation, brand

communication, and promotion. (Coles 8)

"Comparative Study of Other Variety of Grasses Saccharum Spontaneum (talahib)

Chrysopogon Aciculatus (amorseco) and Axonopus Compressus (carabao Grass) as Alternative

Source of Paper."

The preparation of paper was when 50 grams of grass were mixed 18 grams of soda

flakes dissolved in 1 liter of water. Then, having the pulp from the blended grass was mixed with

10% calcium hypochlorite solution bleached it. Finally, the bleached pulp was formed into sheets

using a mold. Between the three varieties of grasses used in this research Chrysopogon

aciculatus (amorseco) was determined to be the best alternative source of paper. It is as strong as

the Saccharum Spontaneum (talahib) and the Axonopus compressus (carabao grass) yet it is

more economical in the sense of sustainability in cost of making. This study presented similar

objectives to the current research with the search for uses of grass as a paper-based material.

(DOST)

“Innovations in Recycled Expanded Polystyrene Foam for use in Electronic Protective


Packaging”

A research made by Gianni Donati of the University of San Luis Obispo made a research
paper on the recycled polystyrene foam in electronic packaging. It was stated that polystyrene

can be recycled instead of being thrown into landfills. This was done through de-polymerization;

wherein ionic liquids are used as treatment to easily degrade polystyrene foam. This shows a

better alternative compared to the re- melting“; process which releases harmful gasses, such as

002 into the air. This research presented similar objectives which is to reduce the damage of

polystyrene foam by finding alternatives for re-use of such material. (Donati)

“Land & Water Conserving Natural Resources in Illinois: Pros and Cons of Styrofoam”

Due to Polystyrene being made out of synthetic materials, such as petroleum by products,

it does not biodegrade, and is therefore considered as a non- biodegradable material. Due to it

being made out of non-renewable resources, it degrades at an extremely slow rate. Most of the

time, special bacteria are needed to speed up the biodegrading process of polystyrene, such as

Pseudomonas putida, a bacterium that decomposes styrene into a biodegradable plastic PHA.

However, due to this method being rarely used, the slow decomposing rate of polystyrene still

poses as a threat in waste build-up if it is not properly disposed. It was also researched that the

gases used into making polystyrene foam include HCFC, which is considered as ozone depleting

gas, making it hazardous to the environment and to the people chronically exposed to it. (Friend

1)

"The Feasibility of Cogon Grass (lmperata Cylindrica) as an Economical and Environment-


Friendly Substitute for Cardboard Food Packaging."

On an investigatory project from the Philippine High School testing the feasibility of

cogon grass (Imperata cylindrica) as an alternative in cardboard food packaging, similar

objectives to the current research were presented. The cogon grass was made into a pulp then
went under five different treatments before it was molded into a cardboard-like substance.

Additives were kept constant except for starch. Making food packaging with Cogon grass would

make products that are biodegradable, cheap, and sustainable. This project was aimed to find an

easier alternative instead of paper since this means cutting down trees, and depleting forests. This

was also conducted because of the abundance of Cogon grass, and its becoming a nuisance.

(Gabieta et al.)

“House Bill 2676"

Recently, the Philippine government has taken action into preventing and reducing the

usage of polystyrene foam in the country which can be seen in the House Bill 2676. in this

House Bill, it was stated that there was a ban and reduction of polystyrene products in schools. It

was also stated in section 3 of the article that it shall be unlawful for food establishments to use

these materials in educational institutions, and any institution caught using polystyrene products

will face a penalty. This was done due to the harmful effects of polystyrene to the environment,

and to the people who manufacture it in the Philippines (8. 2676, 15th Cong. 2011).

“Paspalum Conjugatum Berguis”

Paspalum conjugatum (Carabao grass) was originally from the American tropics. It is

now naturalized in many South-East Asian countries. it is very abundant in Indonesia and

especially in the Philippines. Carabao grass is a common food for cattle, and is an important

pasture grass on coconut plantations. It is most commonly found in humid areas, plantations, and

along streams. Carabao grass posses specific properties that predict the nature of this as a pulp in

making cardboard such as it being adhesively sticky due to the presence of an haemostatic

glucoside in its composition. (Mannetje)


“Polymers and Plastics”

Polystyrene foam is considered as a polymer plastic and is made out of synthetic styrene,

a plastic made out of non-renewable resource petroleum. Due to it being made out of a non-

renewable resource, most people consider it as an environmental hazard. Polystyrene, being a

polymer plastic, contains carbon atoms as the basis of its structure. Due to it being made mostly

out of carbon, it can be put into many uses, and are being used in various materials today,

especially in packaging. However, because of it being non-biodegradable, it poses as a major

threat to the environment due to it contributing to the large amount of waste build-up in landfills.

This paragraph will discuss the reasons as to why polystyrene poses as a threat to the

environment, and poses as a possible hazard to humans as well. Due to Polystyrene being made

out of synthetic materials, such as petroleum by products, it does not biodegrade, and is therefore

considered as a non-biodegradable material. Due to it being made out of non-renewable

resources, it degrades at an extremely slow rate. Most of the time, special bacteria are needed to

speed up the biodegrading process of polystyrene, such as Pseudomonas putida, a bacterium that

decomposes styrene into a biodegradable plastic PHA. However, due to this method being rarely

used, the slow decomposing rate of polystyrene still poses as a threat in waste build-up if it is not

properly disposed. It was also researched that the gases used into making polystyrene foam

include HCFC, which is considered as an ozone depleting gas, making it hazardous to the

environment and to the people chronically exposed to it. (Travers 2884, 2886)

“OPPT Chemical Fact Sheets”

Due to Polystyrene being made out of synthetic materials, such as petroleum by products,

it does not biodegrade, and is therefore considered as a non~ biodegradable material. Due to it
being made out of non-renewable resources, it degrades at an extremely slow rate. Most of the

time, special bacteria are needed to speed up the biodegrading process of polystyrene, such as

Pseudomonas putida, a bacterium that decomposes styrene into a biodegradable plastic PHA.

However, due to this method being rarely used, the slow decomposing rate of polystyrene still

poses as a threat in waste build-up if it is not properly disposed. it was also researched that the

gases used into making polystyrene foam include HCFC, which is considered as ozone depleting

gas, making it hazardous to the environment and to the people chronically exposed to it. Based

on the research of the United Stated Environmental Protection Agency, styrene is considered as a

possible carcinogen, meaning that it can disturb or disrupt the metabolic process of a human

being. It was seen through their studies that workers producing polystyrene products have

reported acute problems such as headache, eye irritation, and breathing problems (USEPR p6).

Some issues in the nervous system were also identified, including depression after chronic

exposure (USEPR p.8). However due to limited research, it cannot be fully confirmed that this

plastic is the main cause of these illnesses, based on the article.

"To Plastic or Not to Plastic, That Is the Question..."

The massive floods that occurred during the storms Ondoy and Pepeng in 2009, also

during Pedring in 2011 were mainly caused by clogged drainage systems in the cities affected.

Non-biodegradable debris, such as plastics and Styrofoam was what the clog mostly comprised

of. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) reported that 80% of the

garbage retrieved from the Philippines's shoreline was made up of non-biodegradable materials.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) stated that the composition of the

8,000 metric tons of daily trash in Metro Manila is mostly composed of non-biodegradable

materials, and that these are the causes that lead to major floods stemming from clogged drains
and heavy rain. It was revealed in waste audits done in November 2010 by environment

advocacy groups that 75.55% of the total volume of trash in Manila Bay was mostly comprised

of plastic and styorofoam products, all non-biodegradable. The significance of biodegradability

has grown in interest by way of various cities in Metro Manila prohibiting the use of plastics in

commercial use. In the same course of action, the Philippine government promoted

biodegradability in using alternatives such as products with paper-based material; with the

initiative of achieving environmental sustainability. (Valisno)

Experimental Design

A. List of Materials

List of Equipment

List of substances for pulp

List of Chemicals

25 pcs 9x12 Silkscreens

450 g Carabao grass (Paspalum sieberianum)

1 L Sodium hypochlorite (Bleach)

1 pc Blender

750 g Commercial Cardboard food packaging

1 pc Triple Beam Balance

~6.5 L Tap Water

1 pc Wire Screen Strainer

2,400 g Commercial Corn Starch


1 pc 1000 mL Graduated Cylinder

1 pc 1000 mL Beaker

1 pc Large Wash Basin

1 pc Roll of Heavy Duty Duct Tape

12 pcs Heavy Duty Ziplock Bag

1 pc Roll of Nylon String

B. Table of Variables

Independent Variable

Dependent Variable

Controlled Variables

The presence of Carabao grass in pulp composition

The tensile strength of the recycled cardboard

The amount of water used per treatment (750 mL).

The amount of time the treatments were blended (3 mins)

The size of the silkscreen used to form the cardboard

The amount of cornstarch in each treatment (100 g)

The kind of duct tape used in each tensile strength test

The kind of nylon string used in each tensile strength test

The length of the duct tape used in each tensile strength test

The length of the nylon string used in each of the tensile strength test (30 cm)
C. Procedure

1.) Gathering and Preparing Raw Materials

A quantitatively large amount of Carabao grass clippings were obtained from public

fields. The carabao grass clippings were then sun dried for eight (8) hours or until their moisture

content was noticeably depleted. The grass was then cut into smaller strips. The standard

Commercial cardboard food packaging containers used in the Ateneo High School cafeteria,

named “Kitchen City”. The cardboard food containers were then broken down by being cut into

smaller parts. These parts were small enough to be broken down into a pulp during the process of

making recycled cardboard.

2.) Pulping of Raw Textile Fibers

750 g of the cut cardboard containers were soaked in 1 L of sodium hypochlorite solution

in plastic containers, for twenty four (24) hours. The pulp was then separated from the liquid

portion using a wire screen strainer and washed thoroughly five (5) times with tap water to

remove any chemicals left. Four (4) treatments were then produced. Each raw material was then

distributed in all the treatments shown in Table 1.1. For treatment A, 100 g of cardboard pulp

was mixed with 750 mL of water and 100 g of cornstarch. For treatment B, 20 g of carabao grass

pulp and 80 g of cardboard pulp were mixed with 750 mL of water and 100 g of cornstarch. For

treatment C, 50 g of carabao grass pulp and 50 g of cardboard pulp were mixed with 750 mL of

water and 100 g of cornstarch. For treatment D, 80 g of carabao grass pulp and 20 g of cardboard

pulp were mixed with 750 mL of water and 100 g of cornstarch. All the measurements of mass

were done so with a triple beam balance while the measurements of volume were done so with a

1000 mL graduated cylinder.


3.) Forming of Recycled Cardboard Sheets

All the treatments were separately mixed and blended using a blender for three (3)

minutes with a number four of speed, thereby obtaining a slurry content of each treatment. Six

(6) liters of water was filled inside a washbasin enough to fit one silkscreen with a mesh and two

silkscreen frames where the pulps would be poured out into. The silkscreens were submerged in

the washbasin separately. Then each treatment was poured and evenly spread out. Once it was

evenly covered, the silkscreens with the pulp were lifted up; slowly letting the water drain for

approximately one minute. Then, the treatment was covered with another silkscreen of the same

size which would serve as a cover from any debris that would come into contact with it, and a

sponge was pressed firmly against whole silkscreen to soak up as much excess water. After this,

the top screen was removed. Each resulting treatment was then left to dry for eight (8) hours

under the sun. Each resulting sheet was equally cut into four (4) smaller sheets resulting in

sixteen (16) recycled cardboard sheets all in all to be used for three trials in total having an extra

sheet for insurance.

4.) Testing the Tensile Strength of Paper

The dried cardboard sheets were cut to be identical in size, approximately the same size

of one-fourth (1/4) of an A4 paper. Each treatment was subjected to a tensile strength test. The

tensile strength test process was done by having a cardboard sheet duct taped onto the side of a

table, having the sheet portrait in orientation and having the length of the duct tape exceeding the

width of the sheet by an inch on each side. Nylon string, 30 cm in length, was then duct taped

onto the bottom half of the portrait sheet by having half of the duct tape, in terms of width,

hanging onto the bottom of the sheet, then attaching the string by at the bottom of the sheet by
having the sheet of duct tape folded to the other side of the cardboard sheet; this was executed in

such a way that the two ends of the string would be free on each side and in equal length of each

other. The two other sides of the nylon string were then attached to a heavy duty ziplock bag by

putting holes onto the top of the ziplock bag, and putting the two ends of the string through them,

then, using duct tape to hold them in place. The ziplock bag was closed to leave a small opening

where small amounts of water could be poured into. Peso coins, rocks and other solid small

objects were put into the ziplock bag until the sheet, being pulled, tore completely; resulting in

the ziplock bag falling to the ground. The ziplock bag of soids was then completely secured and

had its mass measured with a triple beam balance; this mass would be recorded as the tensile

strength of the cardboard sheet in terms of the amount of elastic pressure it could withstand. This

process of testing tensile strength was repeated three (3) times for each treatment resulting in

twelve (12) tests all in all.

D. Description of Set-ups

Control Set-up

Experimental Set-up

Treatment A

Treatment B

Treatment C

Treatment D

A4 sized recycled cardboard sheet dried from a blended mixture of 100 g of cardboard

pulp, 750 mL of water and 100 g of cornstarch duct taped on both ends in portrait orientation,

one end to the side of a table, the other end attached to a heavy duty ziplock bag through nylon
string and having water poured into the ziplock bag at a constant rate. *Note that the amount of

force the cardboard sheet could withstand in terms of elastic tensile strength would be measured

in terms of the mass in grams of the ziplock added to the mass of the water, at the time the

cardboard sheet tore.

A4 sized recycled cardboard sheet dried from a blended mixture of 80 g of cardboard

pulp, 20 g of carabao grass pulp, 750 mL of water and 100 g of cornstarch duct taped on both

ends in portrait orientation, one end to the side of a table, the other end attached a heavy duty

ziplock bag through nylon string and having water poured into the ziplock bag at a constant rate.

*Note that the amount of force the cardboard sheet could withstand in terms of elastic

tensile strength would be measured in terms of the mass in grams of the ziplock added to the

mass of the water, at the time the cardboard sheet tore.

A4 sized recycled cardboard sheet dried from a blended mixture of 50 g of cardboard

pulp, 50 g of carabao grass pulp, 750 mL of water and 100 g of cornstarch duct taped on both

ends in portrait orientation, one end to the side of a table, the other end attached a heavy duty

ziplock bag through nylon string and having water poured into the ziplock bag at a constant rate.

*Note that the amount of force the cardboard sheet could withstand in terms of elastic

tensile strength would be measured in terms of the mass in grams of the ziplock added to the

mass of the water, at the time the cardboard sheet tore.

A4 sized recycled cardboard sheet dried from a blended mixture of 20 g of cardboard

pulp, 80 g of carabao grass pulp, 750 mL of water and 100 g of cornstarch duct taped on both

ends in portrait orientation, one end to the side of a table, the other end attached a heavy duty
ziplock bag through nylon string and having water poured into the ziplock bag at a constant rate.

*Note that the amount of force the cardboard sheet could withstand in terms of elastic

tensile strength would be measured in terms of the mass in grams of the ziplock added to the

mass of the water, at the time the cardboard sheet tore.

Used in all three trials

Used in all three trials

Used in all three trials

Used in all three trials

Data and Results

Table 1.1: The Components of Each Cardboard Sheet

Cardboard Sheets (Treatments)

Pulp Components (excluding cornstarch which is constant)

Carabao grass

Commercial cardboard

A (Control)

0% (0 g)

100% (100 g)

B
20% (20 g)

80% (80 g)

50% (50 g)

50% (50 g)

80% (80 g)

20% (20 g)

Table 1.1 shows the composition of each set-up. The composition of each set-up adds on

the grass composition as it progresses, while the cardboard composition decreases. There is a

direct inverse proportion towards cardboard and grass composition such that the total mass of

each set-up would stay the same all through out.

Table 1.2: Amount of Tensile Stress Recycled Cardboards Sheets Can Withstand

Treatment

Tensile Strength (g)

Trial 1

Trial 2

Trial 3

Average

478.975
450.794

489.614

473.127

490.846

517.738

472.978

493.854

555.655

559.018

519.104

544.592

491.570

504.127

488.784

494.827

As clearly seen in Table 1.2, “Amount of Tensile Strength Recycled Cardboard Sheets

Can Withstand”, The lowest or weakest Cardboard Sheet was Sheet A, containing 0% Carabao
Grass and 100% Cardboard, which had an average tensile strength of 473.127g. The

experimenters inferred that this was due to the lack of added fibres, such as the Carabao Grass, in

the cardboard mixture which made it weaker compared to the others. The strongest Cardboard

Sheet was Sheet C, containing 50% Cardboard and 50% Carabao Grass, which had an average

tensile strength of 544.592. Also, the experimenters noticed that after Sheet C, the tensile

strength started to go down or weaken once 80% Carabao Grass was introduced in the mixture.

With this, the experimenters concluded that there was a limit in the amount of concentration of

cardboard and Carabao Grass that can be placed in a mixture.

Table 1.3: Average Tensile Strength Pertaining to the Percentage of Carabao Grass in Pulp
Composition

Carabao Grass in Pulp Composition

Average Tensile Strength (g)

0%

473.127

20%

493.854

50%

544.592

80%

494.827

As seen in the Table 1.3, the lowest tensile strength is from the 0% Carabao Grass

Composition, followed by the 20% composition, 80% composition, and 50% composition being
the strongest one. The tensile strengths of each are 473.127g, 493.854g, 494.827g, 544.592g and

respectively. This clearly shows that the 50% composition has the highest tensile strength.

Graph 1.1: Pulp Composition of Each Treatment[pic 1]

As seen in the Graph 1.1, each treatment was given a certain amount of Carabao Grass

Pulp in each cardboard mixture, excluding the control set-up. Treatment A received 0% grass

and 100% cardboard; Treatment B received 20% grass and 80% cardboard; Treatment C

received 50% grass and 50% cardboard; Treatment D received 80% grass and 20% cardboard.

Graph 1.2: Amount of Tensile Stress Recycled Cardboards Sheets Can Withstand[pic 2]

Based on the Graph 1.2, it is clearly seen that the highest average tensile strength is

treatment C, followed by Treatment D, Treatment B, and Treatment A, being the weakest. It is

also seen that there is a drop in strength once more that 50% of grass (Treatment B) is added to

the cardboard mixture.

Graph 1.3: Correlation between Percentage of Carabao Grass in Pulp Composition and Average
Tensile Strength

[pic 3]

Based on Graph 1.3, the experimenters observed that there is a limit to how many grass

composition can be placed in a cardboard mixture. It was seen that after the 50% composition,

the tensile strength started to gradually decline creating a limit or point or limit wherein the grass

and the cardboard will be able to fasten to each other. The experimenters inferred based on the

data that the grass needed a certain amount of cardboard to be able to fasten each other, and once

there was not enough cardboard in the mixture, the grass started to fall apart or weaken in

structure, resulting to the drop in tensile strength after the 50% treatment.
Analysis of Data

The quantitative data show a consistent correlation between the pulp composition of the

corrugated cardboard sheets and their tensile strength. This trend would follow a pattern where

as the grass composition in the pulp would increase, but at the same time the cardboard

composition would decrease, the tensile strength of the sheet would increase, but to a point

where it reaches a peak or point where it starts declining. The experimenters can not determine

the exact point where the trend declines; all they can infer is that it is between the 50% mark and

80% mark of the grass composition of the pulp, therefore the line graph of Graph 1.3 is

misleading the show the definite trend of the variables.

This correlation shown by the data is due to the fact that there is an optimum pulp

composition with the right proportion of each pulp component. For more complex fibers with

more pulp compositions, it is difficult to determine the optimum pulp composition, but with a

fiber of corrugated cardboard with only two distinguished pulp compositions, it is simple enough

to find the trend and optimum pulp composition. It cannot be determined with the given data, but

it can be determined that the optimum pulp composition is between the the composition of

Treatment C and Treatment D. It can be inferred that the tensile strength of corrugated cardboard

is only improved within the right pulp compositions of Carabao grass and recycled cardboard

(Johansson 5).

Conclusion

Based on the gathered quantitative data, the experimenters conclude that the hypothesis is

accepted, but to a certain extent and degree. The presence of Paspalum conjugatum (Carabao
grass) in the pulp of the corrugated cardboard does increase the tensile strength of the cardboard

sheets, but only until a given point in the pulp composition of Carabao grass. The increase stops

at this point; it then declines after that. The presence of Carabao grass in corrugated cardboard

does affect the tensile strength of the corrugated cardboard sheet in way that the tensile strength

increases as the Carabao grass is incorporated more into the pulp but declines at a certain point.

Recommendations

The objectives of this Research Project were mostly met, but not all were accomplished.

Renewable corrugated cardboard with Carabao grass as a pulp composition was made in this

project. The corrugated cardboard was tested on it’s tensile strength and a trend was determined

between the pulp composition and tensile strength. Polystyrene or Styrofoam however was not

incorporated into the experiment at all like planned. The experimenters opt to include Styrofoam

as to one of the textiles part of the experimental procedure.

During the making of the corrugated cardboard, the experimenters would have better

results if the pulp composition was more uniformly distributed along it’s sheet while drying. The

experimenters should have bleached the Carabao grass before adding it to the pulp as well for

hygienic purposes.

To surpass the scope and limitations of this project, more factors may opt to be added to

the testing of the textiles of corrugated cardboard, Styrofoam, or any other material used for food

packaging. Quantitative tests such as water retention and qualitative tests such as product appeal

should suffice to the improvement of the experimental design. (Gabieta et. al.)

The testing of the tensile strength of the cardboard sheets had sources of errors as it was a
make-shift method of measuring tensile strength. The experiment would have more sound

quantitative results with the use of legitimate textile-tensile-test apparatus that measure the point

where the textile breaks when stretched. Furthermore, there are different kinds of tensile

strength, like tensile stiffness, tensile absorption, etc., and with the inclusion of some of these

would make this project better with more concise data (Muchorski).

More variables in terms of various pulp compositions and other renewable textiles for

food packaging would have made this Research Project more sound. Such examples are banana

peelings, corn peelings, and any other organic renewable substances as pulp in corrugated

cardboard.

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