Do you know how long it takes for your trash to decompose? Different materials decompose at different rates. Explore how long does it take for these common types of trash to break down.
- Paper towel: 2-4 weeks
- Banana peel: 3-4 weeks
- Paper bag: 1 month
- Newspaper: 1,5 months
- Apple core: 2 month
- Cardboard: 2 months
- Orange peels: 6 months
- Rubber bands: up to 1 year
- Ropes: 3-14 months
- Plywood: 1-3 years
- Iron: several years
- Wool sock: 1-5 years
- Milk carons: 5 years
- Cigarette butts: 10-12 years
- Leather shoes: 25-40 years
- Nylon fabric: 40 years
- Tinned steel can: 50 years
- Foamed plastic cups: 50 years
- Rubber-Boot sole: 50-80 years
- Baterries: 100 years
- Wet wipes: 100 years
- Plastic toothbrush: 400 years
- Aluminium can: 200-500 years
- Plastic straws: 500 years
- Plastic bottles: 450 years
- Disposable diapers : 550 years
- Monofilament fishing line: 600 years
- Sanitary pads: 500-800 years
- Plastic cutlery: 100-1000 years
- Plastic bags: 200-1000 years
- Ink cartridges: 450–1000 years
- Polyurethane seat cushions: 1000 years
- Tires: 2000 years
- Glass bottles: 1 million year
- Styrofoam: Does not biodegrade
- Tinfoil: Does not biodegrade
What is important to know about trash decomposition?
The decomposition time of different types of waste can vary depending on whether they are in the soil or in the ocean.
There are two types of decomposition – biotic and abiotic.
- Abiotic decomposition – material is broken down as a result of a chemical or physical process.
- Biotic decomposition – material is broken down by living organisms.
As for plastics, they basically never decompose, instead they just break down into smaller and smaller parts, which we call microplastics. These often settle in the land or ocean and contaminate the environment. Minimize your trash and recycle
Souces: Ecopack.co.za, stacker.com, down2earthmaterials.ie, saveonenergy.com, thebalancesmb.com