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As scary as that may sound, it is indeed true. We can no longer pretend that it doesn’t matter or that it will just deal with itself or go away. As human population grows, our consumption and waste generation equally grows. So, many of the things that we got away with many years ago are simply not sustainable – yes that is the word.

To help you get a better grasp, here are the estimated length of time it takes for certain waste to decompose plus alternatives and solutions:

Waste Decomposition time Alternatives/Solutions
Banana peels 2 – 5 weeks Use in food compost
Newspaper 6 weeks Recycle or compose
Apple core 2 months Use in food compost
Milk carton 3 months Recycle
Cigarette butt 1 – 5 years Reduce
Plastic bag 10 – 20 years Use a tote bag or other reusable bag
Styrofoam cup 50 years Eliminate
Leather 50 years (longer if chemically tanned) Reduce, Reuse, Upcycle
Aluminum can 200 years Recycle or Upcycle into pots, stoves, etc
Disposable diapers 450 years Reduce
Plastic bottles 450 years Use refillable water bottles
Glass bottles I million years or more or never Recycle


It is therefore important to call on governments, businesses and other stakeholders to make the much needed investments in providing recycling facilities, providing environmental education at all levels, promoting and rewarding sustainable use of resources.

What better legacy can we leave for future generations?


Check out the cool video here:

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