The truth is, it all depends on the environment.
For instance, it can take an orange peel up to six months to decompose, while the banana peel needs up to two years.
The thing is, even if they do decompose quicker than plastic or glass, they still stick around for a bit.
Case in point, we mindlessly throw banana peels because we think they will decompose anyway. The many discarded banana peels and apple cores you’ve seen walking down the street throughout the years are proof that they do not decompose that quickly.
How does our trash affect the earth?
The public has long been urged to reduce daily garbage production to save us all from a destructive fate. This is why it is crucial to know how long it takes for our garbage to decompose.
The earth has long been suffering from climate change for many years, mainly caused by plastic production, reef destruction, industrial agriculture and carbon dioxide emissions.
Reducing waste is a big step.
In order to reverse the fate of our planet, the first thing that we have to do is reduce the amount of waste we throw in the garbage everyday.
Plastic trash is the most notorious type of waste we should all try to get rid of. Although plastic recycling is more actively implemented today, many do not recycle plastic because the process is even more costly than the actual production of the product.
Plastic takes 400 years to decompose in water. Even worse, it takes 800 years to decompose in soil.
People have become more aware of the importance of recycling and reducing household waste.
More and more houses have started composting household items, especially food scraps, like banana peels. If we can just continue being mindful of what we buy and how we dispose of them, we would be in a better place in a few year.
How long do common household wastes last?
- Banana peel – 2 years Orange peel – 6 months
- Lettuce – 25 years Battery – 100 years
- Glass bottle – Undertermine Paper – 6 months
- Plastic bottle – 450 years Tin cans – 50 years
- Nylon rope – 40 years Cotton clothing – 5 months
- Cigarette filter – 5 years Disposable diaper – 450 years
If we want to save our planet and start taking action, awareness is key to address the garbage problem. We should know how long our common garbage takes to decompose, so we could change our lifestyle and not contribute to this worsening problem.
Different household wastes vary in decomposition duration, which greatly depends on what they are made of. Obviously, products from natural materials degrade faster and may even be mixed in your compost pile at home.
Plastic waste: For starters, plastics do not really decompose. In extreme heat, they may break down into tiny pieces called microplastics. These tiny pieces may contaminate rivers and oceans, and end up killing animals and humans in the long run. Plastic bottles, on the other hand, can take up to 1,000 years for plastic to decompose in landfills.
Paper Products: Given the fact that it is produced naturally, paper products are one of the most earth-friendly when it comes to how quickly they decompose. Paper takes anywhere from four to six weeks to break down on its own.
Food Waste: We usually think that since it comes from the soil, food waste easily decomposes. However, how long before they decompose depends on the type of food. Normally an orange peel takes six months, while an apple core or banana peel could around one month to two years before they completely decompose. In fact, a piece of lettuce takes at least 25 years to decompose in a landfill.
Common questions about decomposing banana peels
Are banana peels bad for the environment?
It depends how you dispose of them. If you throw them at the street, they are bad for the environment. It is best to put them in your compost mix. When exposed to moisture and bacteria, banana peels will decompose faster.
Can banana skins be used for anything?
Because of its slippery nature, banana skins can be used to clean kitchen surfaces, such as countertops. It would be a good idea to use it as a cleaning tool before throwing it into your compost. That way, you maximized its use before throwing it away.
How do bananas whiten your teeth?
Bananas contain potassium and magnesium, both of which are linked to natural teeth whitening. Simply rub the insides of banana peels to your pearly whites, and observe how your teeth change with prolonged and consistent use.
Apart from the decomposition of food waste, it is a fact that food in landfills decomposes without oxygen. This creates methane, a gas 23 percent stronger than greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. While some of this methane is converted to energy, a lot of it goes into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change.
This should be our call to try composting our wastes at home instead of just throwing them out to be brought to landfills. Banana peels and other food scraps are better off buried in your compost anyway.