The choices we make can have a considerable impact on our future. Find out how long it really takes for plastic waste to decompose in a landfill. 

This information does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider if the relevant investment is appropriate having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.


Ever wondered how long it takes for plastic to break down?

Plastic is one of many types of waste that take a long time to decompose – in fact, it can take up to 1,000 years to decompose in a landfill.

The plastic bags we use in our everyday lives can take between 10-1,000 years to decompose, while plastic bottles can take 450 years or more.

Most common plastics are non-biodegradable, or are able to be broken down by bacteria or living organisms; it’s a common misconception that most plastics are recyclable.

Discover the sheer time it takes for plastic to be broken down, including common items like grocery bags and drinking straws.

  • Styrofoam: Non-biodegradable
  • Plastic bottle: 450 years
  • Disposable nappies: 450 years
  • Plastic straw: 200 years
  • Aluminium can: 200 years
  • Batteries: 100 years
  • Plastic bag: 20 years
  • Painted board: 13 years
  • Cigarette Butt: 5 years
  • Milk Cartons: 5 years
  • Plywood: 1-3 years
  • Cotton Glove: 3 months
  • Cardboard: 2 months
  • Train tickets: 2 weeks


How Long Does Plastic Take to Break Down?
How Long Does Plastic Take to Break Down?


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