When we go to different areas, knowingly or unknowingly, we harm nature by littering the areas. Actually our original purpose is to search for peace of mind and to enjoy nature. We end up adding the degradation of Nature however.

For example,we go for a picnic to a sanctuary, have fun with loud music, knowing full well that loud music is prohibited in sanctuaries. We drink and happily break the bottles on the rocks or throw the cans, make a fire, cook and most of the time, after having a great lunch we leave the plates, disposable glasses and polythene as debris scattered all over the place.
It’s not that we don’t have the knowledge of environment pollution but sometimes because of lack of awareness and responsibility, we do harm to Nature.

Here is a small list of things with the time it takes to decompose. Before behaving thoughtlessly, we should think about how long our act of foolishness remain on this earth.


Banana Peel- 3-4 weeks 

Orange peels- 6 months 

Apple Core- 2 months 

Paper Bag- 1 month 

Cardboard- 2 months 

Milk Cartons- 5 years 

Newspaper- 6 weeks 

Paper Towel- 2-4 weeks 

Cotton Glove- 3 months 

Tinned Steel Can- 50 years 

Aluminum Can- 200-500 years 

Disposable Diapers- 550 years 

Plastic Bags- 20-1000 years 

Glass- 1-2 million years 

Cigarette Butts- 10-12 years 

Leather shoes- 25-40 years 

Rubber-Boot Sole- 50-80 years 

Plastic containers- 50-80 years 

Monofilament Fishing Line- 600 years 

Foamed Plastic Cups- 50 years 

Wool Sock- 1-5 years 

Plywood- 1-3 years 

Plastic Bottles- 450 years

This is also one of the reasons related to Global Green House Effect.

About padmum

You could call me Dame Quixote! I tilt at windmills. I have an opinion on most matters. What I don't have, my husband Raju has in plenty. Writer and story teller, columnist and contributer of articles, blogs, poems, travelogues and essays to Chennai newspapers, national magazines and websites, I review and edit books for publishers and have specialized as a Culinary Editor and contributed content, edited and collaborated on Cookbooks. My other major interest used to be acting on Tamil and English stage, Indian cinema and TV. I am a wordsmith, a voracious reader, crossword buff and write about India's heritage, culture and traditions. I am interested in Vedanta nowadays. I am now an Armchair traveller/opinionator/busybody!
This entry was posted in Environment, Wellness and health and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. N.Srivatsa says:

    This happened four evenings ago. A few of us waiting in line for the Elevator at a Metro Station were startled by some commotion behind us. We turned around to find a young man about to step into the lift was pulled out by a uniform clad person of almost the same age.
    “Are you not aware that the station is being kept meticulously clean?”
    “Then why did you throw litter on the pathway? Do you wish to be fined for littering?”
    The young man quickly ran back, picked up the pieces of papers he had discarded moments ago with a vocal apology that was evident on his face too.
    If we do not keep our environment clean, who else will?


  2. Grannymar says:

    I am guilty of discarding the odd banana skin or apple core when walking on a country road. I threw them well into the bushes to decompose there. At home, I re-purpose and recycle everything I can.
    A big problem here is chewing gum spat out on the pavements AND dog dirt on a very narrow and badly lit pavement.


  3. Points well taken, Padmum. When we hiked through the Bridger Wilderness in the Rockies just south of the Grand Tetons, a ranger came to our campsite and gave us one rule to follow: when you leave, no one should be able to tell you were ever here. An excellent camping or picnicking rule.


  4. blackwatertown says:

    Apple cores don’t count if you put them in the bushes – that become planting apple trees.

    I remember once being in a car that was pulled over at gunpoint because a back seat passenger had dropped litter out the window. He quickly agreed with the police officer to get out and run back, pick it up and put it in a bin. Now that was a litter patrol to be reckoned with.


  5. Maxi says:

    Disposable Diapers – 550yrs, that one took me by surprise. I’m with Fossil, leave an area as if you were never there.
    Blessings – Maxi


  6. matt says:

    this is good info


  7. Amazing says:

    i diddent even know that glass decomposed and 1 – 2 mill. years thats even more suprising!


    • padmum says:

      Glass is made from natural materials isn’t it? Yes! We blindly make and use stuff without a simple thought about how it will impact our lives. Wait till technical garbage (from gadgets, computers etc.)mount up. That will be a nightmare and may work out cheaper to go and dump it in the moon!


    • likeaboss says:

      glass is even 100% recyclable


  8. Sir Johnson says:

    That’s Increadible. This information shows how inconsiderate some can be. You would think that one out of eight billion people would keep their home(earth) clean. What’s wrong with recycling your waste instead of killing thousands of species that live on the earth besides yourself. More people = More Garbage


    • padmum says:

      Man is the worst animal!! He has no thought beyond himself. In India we are battling the huge issue of garbage. Efforts are on to create bio-fuel from it. That would be a real breakthrough if it is allowed to come through…the oil cartels will get a deadth blow then.


      • Kimski says:

        The oil cartels will buy up the patents to any sustainable energy source plans that doesn’t pollute, just like they did with the patent for the car that runs on water. Allthough I agree that everyone should do their part in leaving the planet to the next generation, in pretty much the same state that we received it, or preferably even better, it is somewhat drowned out by the aforementioned fact. Multi million dollar businesses and corporations are by far the biggest threat to the environment, and they plan to keep it that way, until all coal and oil reserves are gone.
        And the only way to change their policies is by voting green, and make laws that prohibit their exploitation of something that is really not anyone’s possesion to exploit.
        We only leased this place for the time we’re here, and the landlord would likely prefer we left the premises in the same condition that it used to be when we moved in.


        • padmum says:

          Beautifully put! Tenants can be difficult and leave the premises in a garbage condition…there are laws to protect them. Where are the laws to protect Mother Nature?


  9. Merkx94 says:

    Very informative and to the point. Thank you 🙂


  10. Madam Anju says:

    Thanks for such important information .
    Madam Anju


  11. bob standford says:

    how long does it take to decompse a rock


  12. Luke says:

    Is a log with fungi on it biodegradable?


  13. Libby and sofa says:

    Thank you for helping 🙂


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  15. Little R says:

    is metal biodegradable


    • padmum says:

      Some metals are biodegradable. But not all. Metals are considered to be biodegradable if they are broken down by their environment; a common example of which is iron being broken down into rust by oxygen.


  16. elanag93 says:

    Where was this information found?


  17. Dynamic Bliss says:

    Reblogged this on Rants mostly.


  18. Simhachalam says:

    This is the good thing to learn


  19. zljfejkwejr says:

    thanks peep


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