From an environmental perspective, answer to this question is one of great importance.
- Almost every hour, nearly 250,000 plastic bottles are dumped. It is not surprising that plastic bottles constitute close to 50% of recyclable waste in the dumps. Normally, plastic items can take up to 1000 years to decompose in landfills. But plastic bags we use in our everyday life take 10-20 years to decompose, while plastic bottles take 450 - 700 years.
- Glass is very easy to recycle mainly for the fact that glass is made of sand. Simply breaking down glass and melting it, we can produce new glass. But the shocking fact is that if glass is thrown away in landfills, it takes million years to decompose.
- Steel and aluminum can be both recycled and reused repeatedly.
- According to The Public Recycling Officials of Pennsylvania, for every ton of paper that is recycled, the following 17 trees are saved. Forests are being cut and trees are being felled at an unimaginable rate of 100 acres per minute.
It should be noted that the rate of decomposition can depend upon landfill conditions. But the numbers don’t vary much.