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Why we cleanup!

October 16, 2018 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

What is the most common trash collected during cleanups?

Ranked from most common to least common based off of the findings from the International Coastal Cleanup hosted by the Ocean Conservancy:

  1. Cigarettes/Cigarette Filters – 1-5 years to biodegrade
  2. Plastic Food Wrapper/Containers – 20-30 years
  3. Plastic water bottles – 450 years
  4. Plastic bags – 10-20 years
  5. Plastic caps and lids – 450-1,000 years
  6. Plastic utensils – 450 years
  7. Plastic straws and stirrers – up to 200 years
  8. Glass bottles – 1 million years (estimated, exact time unknown)
  9. Aluminum cans – 80-200 years
  10. Paper bags – 1 month

Plastic water bottles were first created and commercially used in 1947. That means if a plastic water bottle was dropped into the ocean the very first year that plastic bottles were created, it is still floating somewhere and will not be “completely gone” until the year 2397. Even then, plastics do not completely decompose, they become micro-plastics. Because of the many carbon-carbon bonds that are used in processing plastics to be as sturdy as they are, the organisms responsible for breaking down organic compounds do not recognize these unnatural strong carbon-carbon bonds and therefore cannot break these compounds down. 


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October 16, 2018
8:00 am - 5:00 pm