at Wärtsilä in Denmark

How Long Does It Take To Break Down?

Have you ever wondered how long does it take garbage to decompose? Well, we have put together some of the everyday materials, which have decomposition time from just few weeks all the way up to a million years. Landfills are a huge source of methane emissions, which have potential to cause global warming even more effectively than carbon emissions. So you might want to take a look at these decomposition rates. Here’s some examples:

Paper Towel: 2-4 weeks

Orange Peel: 2-5 weeks

Cigarette Butt: 1-5 years

Plastic Bag: 10-20 years

Aluminum Can: 80-200 years

Disposable Diaper: 450 years

Plastic Bottle: 450 years

Glass Bottle: 1 000 000 years

As you can see, especially plastic products are pretty nasty for the environment. For example, regular plastic bag takes at least 10 years to decompose. That’s 3650 days. Which equals 87 600 hours! Crazy right? When it comes to decomposition rate, glass bottles are clear winners with at least 1 million years to break down. The good thing is, that glass can be recycled infinitely.

More information about decomposition rates can be found here.

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