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The Life Span of Commonly Discarded Litter Startling Statistics

#1 User is offline   MissJenn 

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  Posted 31 January 2007 - 10:16 AM

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

This post has been edited by MissJenn: 31 January 2007 - 10:27 AM


#2 User is offline   MissJenn 

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 10:18 AM

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!

#3 User is offline   TotemLake 

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 10:37 AM

View PostMissJenn, on Jan 31 2007, 10:18 AM, said:

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.

#4 User is offline   ibycus 

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 10:46 AM

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.

#5 User is offline   Renegade Knight 

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 02:07 PM

View PostMissJenn, on Jan 31 2007, 11:18 AM, said:

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!

#6 User is offline   MissJenn 

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 02:10 PM

And from Minnesota, we also have a very similar page:
http://www.dot.state...dopt/facts.html

They site their source as California Waste Management Bulletin.

#7 User is offline   mudsneaker 

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 03:03 PM

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....

Quote

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

This post has been edited by mudsneaker: 31 January 2007 - 03:14 PM


#8 User is offline   TotemLake 

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 08:29 AM

View Postmudsneaker, on Jan 31 2007, 03:03 PM, said:

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....

Quote

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.

#9 User is offline   bilbad 

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 09:57 AM

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.

#10 User is offline   emurock 

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  Posted 01 February 2007 - 12:32 PM

View PostMissJenn, on Jan 31 2007, 10:16 AM, said:

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:

#11 User is offline   BRTango 

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 06:04 AM

View Postemurock, on Feb 1 2007, 03:32 PM, said:

View PostMissJenn, on Jan 31 2007, 10:16 AM, said:

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?

#12 User is offline   Muddy Chris 

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 12:50 PM

View Postbilbad, on Feb 1 2007, 09:57 AM, said:

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

#13 User is offline   leswon 

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 06:36 AM

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

#14 User is offline   Love 

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  Posted 17 October 2007 - 09:29 AM

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:

#15 User is offline   Lotho 

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 09:39 AM

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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