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How long does it really take?

In the 50's when plastics started to become all the rage, and convenience was worth the price, we began to manufacture as many disposable items as we could. The issue here is the word " disposable" which makes you think that once it has been used it will go away. What a joke. Plastic does not decompose. All of the plastic that has ever been produced is still on this earth in one form or another, taking up space and wreaking havoc on our ecosystems.


In the 1950’s 2 million tons of plastic was being produced. In 2017 that number reached 8.3 million tons, and it is expected that by 2050 we will be pushing out 34 million tons of plastic per year. With less than 10% of plastic being recycled the solution is to stop producing it. The fewer of these items we buy the less they will need to be manufactured.


Here are some common items we think of as disposable, and how long they take to break down into smaller pieces of plastic, along with some easy alternatives...


Razor: 1,000 years Safety Razors (only replace the blade)

Diapers: 500 years Cloth diapers

Pads: 650 years Reusable cloth pads or silicone cups

Utensils: 1,000 years Metal utensils can leave your house!

Starbucks cup: 20 years Reusable cup

Solo cup: 450 years Glasses

Bottled water: 400 years Metal bottle

Ziploc bags: 500 years Reusable

Plastic straw: 200 years Metal straw

Toothbrush: 1,000 years Bamboo toothbrush

Battery: 100 years Rechargeable batteries

Shopping bags: 750 years Reusable bags


I think it is safe to say that the convenience of these items is no longer worth the price.




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