Learn How Many Years It Takes for Different Materials to Break Down – Use Them Wisely!

From plastic to electronic devices, we have a lot of stuff in our landfills and the ocean. We all know that the world is becoming a pile of waste, but it seems that people understand things better if put into perspective.

As such, we decided to show you how long it takes for various materials to decompose or break down. Decomposition is the natural process of decay. The faster a material decays, the better it is for the environment.

Vegetables
It takes between 5 days to 1 month for vegetables to completely decompose underground. This means that vegetable wastes are not so much an issue as other materials. If you have leftover foods, the best thing to do is to bury them underground—separate them from plastic first before you do this.

Cigarette Butts
Filters have plastic that degrades slowly. They take between 18 months and 10 years to decompose. Smokers consume about 5 trillion cigarettes per year. This means that there are at least 5 trillion cigarette butts in the environment at any given time. A cigarette butt is always thrown in the wrong places—they wind up clogging canals and eventually get to the ocean.

Plastic Bags
This is a serious environmental hazard. It takes between 10 and 1,000 years for plastic bags to fully decompose. In fact, a plastic bag is the most common pollutant on the planet as far as waste is concerned. The only solution to this is to stop using it altogether. Use brown bags or paper, as it only takes between two and five months for the paper to decompose.

Styrofoam
Yes, we all love our coffee in the morning or while placing bets on sites like Vulkan Bet, but it is better if you put your coffee in your own container. This way, restaurants do not have to keep serving coffee in styro containers. Styro-line cups and plates take 50 years to decompose. They are the second biggest menace to plastic. Even if they decompose faster, 50 years is still half a century. If you have to take out your food, go for paper plates and containers, not styro.

Wet Wipes
Sure, wet wipes are convenient. However, did you know that it takes 100 years for them to decompose completely?

So, while you have the convenience that you are looking for, the environment is going to suffer for the next 100 years. Instead of using wet wipes, just bring tissue paper with you and a bottle of water.

As you know, tissue is made from wood. Most tissue papers are made of 70% hardwood and 30% softwood, both of which are 100% biodegradable. Tissue papers have varying decomposition time between one and three years. They are, still, biodegradable and leave no trace to the environment. The only effect you have to worry about is that we have to chop down trees to make tissue. Only support environment-friendly companies if you buy tissue paper.

Tin
Oh, we love canned products, don’t we? Did you know that it takes 50 years to decompose? Yes, that is half a century—the same as styro products. The tin from your dinner goes to landfills—and they will stay there for 50 years. The same thing goes with electronics. If you dispose of your phone and computer, know that these machines have tin in them.

Your best bet? Recycle them. There are many companies that buy tins. Wash them and keep them, and then sell them in junkyards. These junkyards will take care of delivering the tin to the recycling companies.

Tires
Tires take 2,000 years to decompose. Tires are heavy with other metals like lead, not just rubber. They also have oil and many other pollutants that harm the environment.

Every year, there are more than 242 million tires that get discarded in the US. The sad thing is that only 7% of these are recycled. The good news is that there are recycling organizations in India that make furniture out of it. Next time you want to change your tire just for show, think about the 2,000 years it will take for landfills to eat them up.

Summary
Although there are many materials that claim to be made of biodegradable materials, they are not as friendly to the environment as they seem to be. What we recommend that you do is still to recycle— use materials at least two times before disposing of them.

Now it is easier to comprehend what various materials do to our planet. Those that do not decompose fast will keep on filling our lands and ocean. If we keep on doing this, the planet is going to suffer.

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