BIODEGRADABLE OR COMPOSTABLE - HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?
Throughout this fabric store, you'll see that the fabrics are either biodegradable or compostable. But do you know the difference, or what this actually means?
Organic matter that can naturally breakdown to nothing with the help of micro-organisms. Therefore it is not harmful to the environment, though can take various lengths of time to do so.
Bio='life' Degrade='to breakdown' Able='to be possible'.
Some modern plastic products claim they are biodegradable as they will eventually breakdown into smaller pieces over an incredibly long period of time. However these pieces will be toxic components that harm the environment.
An item that is compostable means that it can breakdown to non-toxic components such as water, carbon dioxide and biomass, but only within specific environments.
Therefore, not everything labelled compostable may be suitable for home composting. They may require industrial composting for higher levels of heat, water, oxygen and micro-organisms to create the right environment for the breaking down to happen.
How long does it take to decompose?
A selection of items taken from Brown Recycling Ltd, and Stacker:
Paper Towel: 2-4 weeks
Apple Core: 2 months
Cotton T-shirt: 2-5 months
Plywood: 1-3 years
Cigarette Butt: 10 years
Sanitary Pads & Tampons: 25 years +
Nylon Fabric: 40 years
Leather: 50 years
Wet Wipes: 100 years
Aluminium Can: 200 years
Plastic Straws: 200 years
Disposable Nappies: 500 years
Plastic Bottle: 500 years
Plastic Bags: 10-1000 years
Glass Bottle: 1,000,000 years
Aluminium Foil: Never
Looking at the figures above, to help our planet, you can see how important it is for us to reduce our use, to reuse and to recycle existing products.
Aluminium can be recycled an unlimited amount of times, so with a time frame of 200 years to decompose, you can see how vital it is that we should recycle.
Glass bottles can take up to a million years to decompose! Let's all do our best to reuse and recycle! Glass can be easily washed out to be reused, and are widely recycled across the nation.
Synthetic fabrics can take 100 plus years to decompose with the toxic chemicals leaching into our environment. Combined with the amount of excess waste caused through fast fashion, our landfills cannot deal with this amount of waste.