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Does plastic decompose?

Updated: Mar 1

Plastic was built to last, so how long will it take to decompose, if at all?

plastic bags, products, tooth brushes and balloons
Life span of plastic items

We humans have been in a long term relationship with #plastic for over half a century. Only now we are starting to understand the impact of our choices.


Every day over 8 million pieces of plastic end up in the #ocean. Destroying marine habitats and trapping marine wildlife - we’re slowly suffocating our own oceans.


#Plasticbags take upwards of 20 years to decompose. Birds often mistake shredded plastic bags for food, filling their stomachs with toxic pieces.


A hungry sea turtle, can not tell the difference between jellyfish and floating plastic shopping bags.


A single #toothbrush can take as long as 500 years to decompose, while washing liquid bottles, water bottles, and yogurt cups can take decades or even centuries.


#Coffeecups have a thin plastic lining to prevent liquids leaking, making them difficult to recycle. The lids are made from varying types of single-use plastic and are rarely recycled, they are instead sent to landfill, are burnt or end up in the environment and oceans.


#Plasticbottles take over 450 years to decompose. Approximately 75% of water bottles are not recycled - they end up in landfills, litter roadsides, and pollute waterways and oceans.

We need to call on major soft drinks and mineral water companies to stop using plastic, and think of a better solution. Whilst the earn billions of dollars a year in profits, they’re the biggest #plasticpolluters.

Red plastic coca cola bottle top
Big brand bottle top collected on beach clean

One of the worst environmental offenders are #balloons. Although colourful and fun, they have a very dark side.


#Mylarballoons are a type of foil balloon and whilst they are a popular choice for birthdays, weddings and anniversaries. They are made up of a variety of materials, which is why they never decompose. This makes them very dangerous for our environment and wildlife.

#Balloonreleases although beautiful to watch are extremely damaging.

Choose #bubblereleases over balloons - the same effect with #zeroimpact



There’s so much plastic already, what can I do?


It’s about making conscious consumer choices. Make small changes to have a big impact. Go for #reusable or #ecofriendly alternatives instead. Here are are some of our favourite swaps:


Plastic toothbrush >>>>>#Bambootoothbrush

Plastic sanitary pads >>>>> #Clothperiodproducts

Plastic nappies >>>>>>#Clothnappies

Single use plastic cutlery >>>>>>#Bamboo cutlery

Plastic bags >>>>>>>#Canvasshoppingbags

Takeaway coffee >>>>> #Reusablecoffeemugs

Plastic water bottle >>>> #Reusablewaterbottles

Cotton wool pads - #Reusableclothfacepads



illustrations of sustainable products
Swap plastic for reusable



Sources

https://www.wwf.org.au/news/blogs/the-lifecycle-of-plastics

https://www.condorferries.co.uk/plastic-in-the-ocean-statistics