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Is plastic edible?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/30/2014 Category: Funny
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,572 times Debate No: 53747
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (2)




I think plastic is completely edible... let me know what you think.


If you view the definition in this link (, you will see that edible means "fit to be eaten as food."

Although there are certain plastic objects that may be swallowed and may travel through the alimentary canal without incident, there would be no nutrition gained from consuming the plastic. If something passes through completely undigested without the body extracting so much as a single nutrient from it, it cannot be considered food. Therefore, since plastic is not considered food, it is not considered edible, regardless of whether you swallow it or not.
Debate Round No. 1


Ok. I see where you are going there. But honestly, I believe plastic is nutritional. There are many calories to be gained from small legos and barbie shoes.


Contrary to your beliefs, plastic is NOT nutritional. Small Legos and Barbie shoes, if swallowed, will pass through your system completely undigested. And this will only happen if such items actually make it into the alimentary canal without any choking incidents.

To explain why this is the case, we must explore what truly takes place when food is eaten and digested. Food is first taken in through the oral cavity (a.k.a. mouth), where the teeth are used to masticate the food. This increases the surface area, so that the digestive enzymes can break down the food and extract the nutrients. In the mouth, the saliva contains an enzyme known as amylase. This enzyme is used for breaking down starch. The mouth also contains ptyalin, converting starch into simple sugars, betaine, which maintains fluid balance, and bromelain, which helps to tenderize meat.

Once this is done, the tongue pushes the masticated food back into the pharynx. At this point, the epiglottis will divert the food (or swallowed non-food objects in your case) to the esophagus. At this point we are in the upper gastrointestinal tract. The process of peristalsis will gradually push the swallowed substances down the gastrointestinal tract until they reach the stomach. At this point, another slough of enzymes comes into play for further digestion. The following enzymes are contained in the stomach:

Pepsin-- breaks proteins into peptides
Gastric amylase-- breaks down starch further (building on the breakdown process of the amylase in the saliva)
Gelatinase-- breaking down the gelatin and collagen found in meat products
Rennin-- used in the digestion of milk
Gastric lipase-- used to break down certain fats

The pancreas also contains a host of enzymes. The following enzymes are from the pancreas:

Pancreatic lipase-- breaks down triglycerides
Phospholipase-- breaks down phospholipids
Trypsin-- breaks down proteins into their constituent amino acids
Steapsin-- works with pancreatic lipase to break down triglycerides
Chymotrypsin-- converts proteins into aromatic amino acids
Carboxypeptidase-- also breaks proteins down into amino acids
Pancreatic amylase-- adds to the other two amylases by digesting carbohydrates
Elastase-- breaks down elastin (a type of protein found in connective tissue)
Nuclease-- converts nucleic acids into nucleotides and nucleosides

At this point, the swallowed substance will pass on to the small intestine for the final steps in digestion. The small intestine contains three enzymes: sucrase, maltase, and lactase. They are used in breaking down the sugars of sucrose, maltose, and lactose, respectively.

This ends the digestive process. Whatever remains will pass into the large intestine where it will eventually be excreted as waste.

Now if we look back at the whole digestive process, we see that we encounter 21 different enzymes along the way. However, not a single one of these enzymes can be used to aid in the digestion of plastic. Without any enzymes to break down the plastic, no nutrition can be gained from it. Therefore, even if plastic does contain many calories, not so much as a single one would ever be extracted through digestion. When an object passes through the entire gastrointestinal tract without a single nutrient obtained through the process, that object cannot be considered food. Consequently, an object that is not considered food, is not considered edible, by definition. Therefore, we must conclude that plastic is not edible.
Debate Round No. 2


exoticriverllama forfeited this round.


I have already given the definition of edible. Here is the definition of inedible:

As you can see from the definition, something that is inedible is not fit or suitable for eating. Since I have shown that plastic is certainly not suitable for eating, this means that plastic is inedible.

Furthermore, if you see the example given in this definition, it states "an inedible variety of mushroom." Obviously, a person is able to swallow an inedible variety of mushroom. However, the fact that something can be swallowed does not render it edible.

You can consume all of the Legos and Barbie shoes that you desire. But they will never provide you with a single nutrient and they will never be even remotely digested. Therefore, plastic is not suitable for eating and cannot serve as food. Something that cannot serve as food is not edible. Therefore, plastic is NOT edible.
Debate Round No. 3


exoticriverllama forfeited this round.


I believe I have sufficiently shown that plastic is NOT edible.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by DeletedUser 7 years ago
I thought that was what McDonald serves? Oops sorry that's food flavored cardboard. Different Debate
Posted by Plankton13 7 years ago
if plastic was edible, then suddenly the world's pollution problem is solves
and it's hunger problem too.
Posted by Bamzki 7 years ago
Plastic can be eaten but that doesn't mean that you can eat it for granted. I think that if you would attempt to eat plastic, you would suffocate. So don't attempt a stupid act. Plastics like dolls, etc. (I think) are composed of acids or something that isn't good for our body.
Posted by ottytheotter 7 years ago
im not on any sides but plastic would be wierd to eat and has no flavor
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by lannan13 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by Anonymous 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: FF

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