The estimated decomposition rates of common marine debris items

Marine Debris: don't leave it to Mother Nature

How long until it's gone? Discover the estimated decomposition rates of the most common types of marine debris.

Garbage, litter, trash. Our oceans and coastal lines have been invaded by thousands of small, medium, and large pieces of unwanted man-made products.

Nature is not able to decompose everything humans produce. Taking care of our trash is critical if we still want to ride waves in crystal clear blue waters.

Let's take a look at how much time is needed to decompose marine debris items put aside by contemporary societies:

Orange/Banana Peel: 2-5 weeks

Paper Towel: 3-4 weeks

Newspaper: 6 weeks

Cotton Ropes: 1-5 months

Apple Core: 2 months

Cardboard Box: 2 months

Cotton Shirt: 2-5 months

Waxed Carton: 3 months

Photo-Degradable Beverage Holder: 6 months

Plywood: 1-3 years

Wool Socks: 1-5 years

Cigarette Butt: 1-5 years

Plastic Grocery Bag: 10-20 years

Plastic film Canister: 20-30 years

Condom: 30 years

Styrofoam Cup: 50 years

Foamed Buoy: 50 years

Tin Can: 50 years

Leather: 50 years

Rubber Boat Sole: 50-80 years

Aluminum Can: 200 years

Plastic Beverage Holder: 400 years

Plastic Bottle: 450 years

Disposable Diaper: 450 years

Fishing Line: 600 years

Glass Bottle: 1 million years

Help the planet. Say no to plastic bags, and collect a single marine debris item every time you leave the beach after a surf session.