How Long Does It Take For Your Household Trash To Decompose?

Plastic trash can take up to 1000 years to decompose in landfills. It is quickly becoming one of our biggest environmental issues and is not slowing down.

  • Paper Towel – 2-4 weeks
  • Banana Peel – 3-4 weeks
  • Paper Bag – 1 month
  • Newspaper – 1.5 months
  • Apple Core – 2 months
  • Cardboard – 2 months
  • Cotton Glove – 3 months
  • Orange peels – 6 months
  • Plywood – 1-3 years
  • Wool Sock – 1-5 years
  • Milk Cartons – 5 years
  • Cigarette Butts – 10-12 years
  • Leather shoes – 25-40 years
  • Tinned Steel Can – 50 years
  • Foamed Plastic Cups – 50 years
  • Rubber-Boot Sole – 50-80 years

Alarmingly it take an aluminum can 200-500 years to decompose.  This should also be on our radar!

It Takes Many More Years For Plastic Trash To Decompose.

  • Plastic containers – 50-80 years
  • Plastic Bottles – 450 years
  • Disposable Diapers – 550 years
  • Mono-filament Fishing Line – 600 years
  • Plastic Bags – 200-1000 years.

The Green Education Foundation Has Some Useful Tips To Reduce Your Trash:

  • Stop using plastic straws. If a straw is a must, purchase a reusable stainless steel or glass straw
  • Use a reusable produce bag. Purchase or make your own reusable produce bag and be sure to wash them often!
  • Give up gum. Gum is made of a synthetic rubber, aka plastic.
  • Buy boxes instead of bottles.
  • Purchase food, like cereal, pasta, and rice from bulk bins and fill a reusable bag or container. You save money and unnecessary packaging.
  • Reuse containers for storing leftovers or shopping in bulk.
  • Use a reusable bottle or mug for your beverages.
  • Bring your own container for take-out or your restaurant doggy-bag since many restaurants use styro foam.
  • Use matches instead of disposable plastic lighters or invest in a refillable metal lighter.
  • Avoid buying frozen foods because their packaging is mostly plastic.Plus you’ll be eating fewer processed foods!
  • Don’t use plastic ware at home and be sure to request restaurants do not pack them in your take-out box.
  • Ask your local grocer to take your plastic containers back. If you shop at a farmers market they can refill it for you.The EPA estimates that 7.6 billion pounds of disposable diapers are discarded in the US each year. Use cloth diapers to reduce your baby’s carbon footprint and save money.
  • Make fresh squeezed juice or eat fruit instead of buying juice in plastic bottles. It’s healthier and better for the environment.
  • Make your own cleaning products that will be less toxic and eliminate the need for multiple plastic bottles of cleaner.
  • Pack your lunch in reusable containers and bags. Also, opt for fresh fruits and veggies and bulk items instead of products that come in single serving cups.
  • Use a razor with replaceable blades instead of a disposable razor

For more information about eco-friendly alternatives, please visit: