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MissJenn

The Life Span of Commonly Discarded Litter

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The Life Span of Commonly Discarded Litter

Startling Statistics

 

taken from Pennsylvania DOT

http://www.dot.state.pa.us/Internet/pdkids...istics?OpenForm

 

Glass Bottle ------- Approximately 1 Million Years

Plastic 6-Pack Collar ------- 450 Years

Aluminum Can ------- 200 – 500 Years

Plastic Jug ------- 70 Years

Rubber Boot Sole ------- 50 – 80 Years

Steel Cans ------- 50 Years

Leather ------- Up To 50 Years

Nylon Fabric ------- 30 – 40 Years

Plastic Film Canister ------- 20 – 30 Years

Painted Wooden Stake ------- 13 Years

Degradable Plastic Bag ------- 10 – 20 Years

Disposable Diapers ------- 10 – 20 Years

Wool Clothing ------- One – Five Years

Cigarette Butt ------- One – Five Years

Cotton Rag ------- One – Five Months

Orange Peel/Banana Peel ------- Two – Five Weeks

Piece Of Paper ------- Two – Four Weeks

Traffic Tickets ------- Two – Four Weeks

Rolled Newspaper ------- Two – Six Weeks

Candy Wrapper ------- One – Three Months

Rope ------- Three – 14 Months

Edited by MissJenn
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I am guessing these numbers refer to the average lifespan of items simply left "out there," and not in a landfill or any kind of controlled environment.

 

Egads!

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I am guessing these numbers refer to the average lifespan of items simply left "out there," and not in a landfill or any kind of controlled environment.

 

Egads!

You'll notice styrofoam wasn't included. That stuff is almost as bad as nuclear waste in longevity.

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Cigarette Butt ------- One – Five Years

 

That one deserves a few special emphasis points.... I know a number of people who claim that they degrade really quickly (also, according to some sites, this number is actually considerably higher. http://www.cigarettelitter.org/index.asp?P...ame=Smokers#bio claims as many as 12 years, or mentions (although does not cite) sources which say that they *never* fully decompose.

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I am guessing these numbers refer to the average lifespan of items simply left "out there," and not in a landfill or any kind of controlled environment.

 

Egads!

 

Since our caches are made out of many of the same materials, You would think our caches would hold up better than they do!

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oh wow...I was researching the lifespan of styrofoam (have yet to find a number still) and found this little tid-bit. This one has me re evaluating my entire outlook of what I eat and drink from. This is copied from a Witness Statement regarding McDonalds styrofoam packaging. Of course McD has changed to other materials, but places like Teriaki joints still use styrofoam for the take out food.

 

Issues-surrounding polystyrene foam food packaging use

EPA National Human Adipose Tissue Survey for 1986 identified styrene residues in 100% of all samples of human fat tissue taken in 1982 in the U.S.. Styrene is a precursor to polystyrene plastic and is a contaminant in all polystyrene foam packages. Styrene is fat soluble and potentially can be picked up in hamburger fat in a foam food package and transferred to the food.

Studies published by the Foundation for Advancements in Science and Education determined that styrofoam drinking leach stryofoam into the liquids they contain. The cups apparently lose weight during the time they are at use. The theory being that different materials cause some of the foam to dissolve into the liquid in the vessel. The studies showed that tea with lemon produced the most marked change in the weight of the foam cup.

 

 

still looking for the lifespan of the stuff...

edit: I found numbers from 500 to 20,000 years.

 

one quote I saw from this....

Although Styrofoam breaks into pieces easily, it will take 500 years for one cup to dissolve. My unanswered question is: dissolve into what?
Edited by mudsneaker
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oh wow...I was researching the lifespan of styrofoam (have yet to find a number still) and found this little tid-bit. This one has me re evaluating my entire outlook of what I eat and drink from. This is copied from a Witness Statement regarding McDonalds styrofoam packaging. Of course McD has changed to other materials, but places like Teriaki joints still use styrofoam for the take out food.

 

Issues-surrounding polystyrene foam food packaging use

EPA National Human Adipose Tissue Survey for 1986 identified styrene residues in 100% of all samples of human fat tissue taken in 1982 in the U.S.. Styrene is a precursor to polystyrene plastic and is a contaminant in all polystyrene foam packages. Styrene is fat soluble and potentially can be picked up in hamburger fat in a foam food package and transferred to the food.

Studies published by the Foundation for Advancements in Science and Education determined that styrofoam drinking leach stryofoam into the liquids they contain. The cups apparently lose weight during the time they are at use. The theory being that different materials cause some of the foam to dissolve into the liquid in the vessel. The studies showed that tea with lemon produced the most marked change in the weight of the foam cup.

 

 

still looking for the lifespan of the stuff...

edit: I found numbers from 500 to 20,000 years.

 

one quote I saw from this....

Although Styrofoam breaks into pieces easily, it will take 500 years for one cup to dissolve. My unanswered question is: dissolve into what?

The difference in years all depends on whether the styro was made to be biodegradable or not, and to what extent. Usually, biodegradability means some corn starch was added to it to help the entire unit breakdown a little quicker. Of course, this depends on the package to stay dry.

 

Pure styrene can only adequately breakdown when acetone is applied to it. What do you do with the liquid toxic waste now? When the acetone evaporates, you're still left with this goo that won't go away.

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of course most plastic will degrade faster in direct sunlight then say under a bush and non filtered cigs would disappear way before a normal filtered one... I smoke but I think "butts" really make a place look bad. At the least carry them out in your pocket and dispose of properly later.

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The Life Span of Commonly Discarded Litter

Startling Statistics

Glass Bottle ------- Approximately 1 Million Years

Plastic 6-Pack Collar ------- 450 Years

Aluminum Can ------- 200 – 500 Years

Plastic Jug ------- 70 Years

Rubber Boot Sole ------- 50 – 80 Years

Steel Cans ------- 50 Years

Leather ------- Up To 50 Years

Nylon Fabric ------- 30 – 40 Years

Plastic Film Canister ------- 20 – 30 Years

Painted Wooden Stake ------- 13 Years

Degradable Plastic Bag ------- 10 – 20 Years

Disposable Diapers ------- 10 – 20 Years

Wool Clothing ------- One – Five Years

Cigarette Butt ------- One – Five Years

Cotton Rag ------- One – Five Months

Orange Peel/Banana Peel ------- Two – Five Weeks

Piece Of Paper ------- Two – Four Weeks

Traffic Tickets ------- Two – Four Weeks

Rolled Newspaper ------- Two – Six Weeks

Candy Wrapper ------- One – Three Months

Rope ------- Three – 14 Months

Wow. :blink:

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The Life Span of Commonly Discarded Litter

Startling Statistics

Glass Bottle ------- Approximately 1 Million Years

Plastic 6-Pack Collar ------- 450 Years

Aluminum Can ------- 200 – 500 Years

Plastic Jug ------- 70 Years

Rubber Boot Sole ------- 50 – 80 Years

Steel Cans ------- 50 Years

Leather ------- Up To 50 Years

Nylon Fabric ------- 30 – 40 Years

Plastic Film Canister ------- 20 – 30 Years

Painted Wooden Stake ------- 13 Years

Degradable Plastic Bag ------- 10 – 20 Years

Disposable Diapers ------- 10 – 20 Years

Wool Clothing ------- One – Five Years

Cigarette Butt ------- One – Five Years

Cotton Rag ------- One – Five Months

Orange Peel/Banana Peel ------- Two – Five Weeks

Piece Of Paper ------- Two – Four Weeks

Traffic Tickets ------- Two – Four Weeks

Rolled Newspaper ------- Two – Six Weeks

Candy Wrapper ------- One – Three Months

Rope ------- Three – 14 Months

Wow. <_<

 

What about the bags that snack chips come in? Anyone know how long those last?

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I smoke but I think "butts" really make a place look bad. At the least carry them out in your pocket and dispose of properly later.

 

Yea!!! The world needs more responsible smokers! Thank you for being one!

 

Chris

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How about no smokers? Then there would be no cigarrette trash and we all might live a bit longer :cry:

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Wow, those stats are impressive. Too bad I can't have the lifespan of a glass bottle!

 

Anyway, all the more reason to actively cache in trash out!

 

:huh:

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Nice to see our micros have the potential to be in the wild for 30 years :D :D another blow for micro haters!

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