TRASH; How long does it really last?

We live in a world where we consume way more than we really need; things have become disposable in a new ‘throw-away’ culture. We think ‘sure just throw the Starbucks coffee cup in the bin; it will magically disappear and have no effect on the environment’. Unfortunately this is not the case, majority of, or all of what we throw away will end up in landfill sites or in the ocean.  It doesn’t end there either. Have you ever wondered how long your trash actually lasts in the landfill or the ocean? It sadly can out live you! How messed up is that? Rubbish single-use plastic or fabric out living us humans!

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Did you know? An average person today produces 7 pounds of rubbish each day. That’s 49 pounds per week, and 2548 pounds per year!!; Now that’s a lot of trash right?

So how long does it take for these household items to decompose?

Nylon fabric – 30 – 40 years
Plywood – 1 – 3 years
Plastic bag – 20 years
Fishing line – 600 years
Disposable diaper – 450 years
Newspaper – 6 weeks
Plastic cup – 50 years
Rubber boot – 60 – 80 years
Tin Can – 50 years
Waxed milk cartoon – 3 months
Glass bottle – 1 million years

This is a guide as to how long a few things take to decompose; the disposable diaper was the one that shocked me the most, I can’t believe how long they actually take to decompose. The others I kind of knew about before researching this topic. I think if we actually sorted through our waste we produce there are things we could recycle or reuse before dumping into the landfill; such things like a glass bottle to be used as a vase, or a tin can to the recycle centre etc.


There is always a way to improve your waste habits, maybe to even do a swap out. Instead of using plastic bags swap them for cloth reusable bags & instead of buying a newspaper sign up for the online paper. The small changes you can make, can help reduce the amount of rubbish is being sent everyday to the landfill. It is Zero Waste Week (4th – 8th September) so I felt that sharing this would be fitting, to help raise awareness about your rubbish. If you want some helpful tools that can aid you in reducing your trash head over to

Read more: compostable teabags | zero waste gift wrapping


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