12 Everyday Items That Take the Longest to Decompose
We all know the damage plastic bags do to the environment, but these other seemingly items stay around long enough to wreak havoc, too.
We love leather products for their beauty and durability, but we’re also a little too quick to send out-of-fashion shoes and belts to the landfill, rather than the Goodwill or a textile recycling center. You might think leather has zero negative environmental impact, but the tanning process increases the material’s durability, which means it can take about 50 years to decompose.
Paper must be a quick-rotting substance, right? Not necessarily. If you choose to place it in your trash can instead of your recycling bin, it will spend up to 5 months slowly turning back into pulp, thanks to the low-oxygen, bacteria-free environment of the landfill—it’s slowed even more thanks to all the paper being added every day. And that doesn’t even take into account the effects of the toxic chemicals in the inks used by glossy magazines and other publications. Ready to help save the earth? Here are 11 items you didn’t know you could recycle.