Your garbage lives longer than you

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    Whether in your home or out in the streets, it’s important to realise that what you do with your garbage matters.

    Fruit and vegetables are great compost. They will decompose a few days after you leave and there is no risk of damaging the environment. However, do make sure you bury or compost your fruit and vegetable waste as this will help break down faster.

    However, plastics, polymers, glass, tin, paper and other man made materials contain ingredients which the soil cannot absorb so burying them won’t be the smart choice. Reuse! Reuse!! Reuse!!!

    To give you a better understanding of the matter at hand, here is an approximate idea of the period of time necessary for some of the most common types of human garbage to decompose:

    An Orange peel (6 months to 2 years)
    A napkin (3 months)
    A newspaper (3-12 months)
    Matches (6 months)
    Waxed milk carton (3 months)
    A wad of gum (5 years)
    Tin can (50 years)
    A plastic bag (20-100 years)
    A can of beer (80-200 years)

    Plastic bag1

    If you think the above data is bad enough, there is more:

    A rubber sole (50-80 years)
    A plastic bottle (150 – 500 years)
    Disposable diaper (500 years)
    Fishing line (600 years)
    A plastic card (1000 years)
    Plastic Packaging (100-1000 years)
    Glass (1 million years)

    Of course, statistics for some of these items are educated guesswork by scientists. But no matter how you look at it, the statistics are shocking. In most cases, our garbage actually lives longer than us, and is that the legacy you want to leave? That’s why we have to be more responsible.

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