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We can solve this question by applying equivalent ratios
For every 30 seconds that elapse, Norbert can cut up 1 plastic six-pack container In other words, for every 0.5 MINUTES that elapse, Norbert can cut up 1 plastic six-pack container
Let t = the time (in MINUTES) to cut up 512 plastic six-pack containers
We can write: t/512 = 0.5/1 Cross multiply to get: (1)(t) = (512)(0.5) Simplify to get: t = 256 MINUTES
If Norbert can cut up one container in 30 seconds, then he can cut up 2 containers in one minute. Thus it will take him 512/2 = 256 minutes to cut up all the containers and 256 minutes = 256/60 = 4 hours and 16 minutes.