Material decomposition rates 2017

This statistic represents the estimated decomposition rates of select waste materials in 2017. It is estimated that foamed plastic cups take approximately 50 years to biodegrade once they are disposed of.

Estimated decomposition rates in 2017, by select material

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Sources

Release date

November 2017

Region

Worldwide

Survey time period

2017

Supplementary notes

* These figures are originally listed as the following ranges: plastic bags 10-20 years, cigarette butts 1-5 years.

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Statistics on "Lightweight automotive materials"

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