TENDUA - Association for biodiversity conservation

Newsletter n°10

How quickly degrade naturally our waste?

Source : consoglobe.com

You have been told already many times, it has been repeated: please, do not throw garbage in the street or in the wild! Cigarette, match, chewing gum, cans or other tissues remain, sometimes they stay there a very long time.
Worldwide, 4,300 billion cigarette butsare thrown into the streets every year, 137,000 butts per second. So, our Earth is it a trash?

Here is a selection of objects or products with their “natural life cycle”: how long do they degrade without external intervention in nature?

Life time of the waste that are the fastest ««biodegradable»

Toilet paper : 2 weeks to 5 months !!!!!
Core of an apple: : 1 to 5 months
Paper tissue : 3 months
Fruit peel : from 3 to 6 months
Newspaper : from 6 to 12 months
Milk carton : up to 5 months
Matches : 6 months

Waste that degrade between 12 months to 10 years

Cigarette butt: 1 to 5 years
Bus or metro ticket: about 1 year
Wool glove or sock : 1 year
Candy wrapper : 5 years
Chewing-gum: 5 years
Oil drain : 5 to 10 years
Wooden plank (painted) : 13 to 15 years

Waste degradation in soils
Waste degradation in soils
© ©Ademe

NB :

  • A cigarette butt may alone to pollute 500 liters, 1 m3 of snow is polluted by 1 cigarette butt.
  • One liter of oil can cover 1,000 m² of water and preventing the oxygenation of the underwater fauna and flora for several years. Rejected in the sewage system, waste oil clogs the filters in treatment plants and water disrupts the biological treatment process.

Waste degrading between 10 to 1000 years

Cesium 137 : 30 years
Tin can : 50 years
Polystyrene container / object : 50 to 80 years
Plastic lighter : 100 years
Steel cans : 100 years
Alu cans : 10 to 100 years
Rubber tire: 100 years
Aluminum box : 100 to 500 years
Ink cartridge : 400 to 1000 years
Mercury battery : 200 years
Disposable diaper : 400 to 450 years
Sanitary pad /tampon : 400 to 450 years
Plastic bag : 450 years
Fishnet : 600 years

Life time of the most resistant waste

Plastic bottle : 100 à 1000 years
Telephone card : 1000 years
Ski pass : 1000 years
Expanded polystyrene : 1000 years
Glass: 4000 to 5000 years

Life time of nuclear waste

Iode 131 : 8 days
Iode 125 : 60 days
Radium 226 : 1600 years
Carbone 14 : 5700 years
Plutonium 239 : 24 000 years
Potassium 40 : 1,3 billion years
Uranium 238 : 4,5 billion years (actual age of the Earth..)

So, are you ready to take care of your waste and to review your consumption?

And do not forget that everything that is thrown into the street, ends in the sea !

© internet

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