Decomposition time of plastics

According to statistics from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, in Vietnam, about 1.8 million tons of plastic waste is discharged into the environment each year. However, only 27% of it is recycled and utilized by facilities and businesses. The rest is buried, buried in the ground or discharged into the sea. Therefore, paying attention to the decomposition time of plastic waste is extremely necessary to raise people’s awareness in the use and recycling of this type of waste.

Depending on the structure and materials, each type of plastic waste has a different decomposition time. But in general, the decomposition time of this type of waste is very long, up to more than 1000 years. 

Product  Structural materials  Decomposition time 
Plastic bags and thin plastic bags  High-Density Polyethylene Compound (HDPE)  From 10 tp 100 years 
Thick, tough plastic bags  Low-Density Polyethylene Compound (LDPE)  From 500 to 1000 years 
Plastic bottle  Polyethylene Terephthalate Plastic (PET)    From 450 to 1000 years 
Detergent bottle  High-Density Polyethylene Compound (HDPE)    From 500 to 1000 years 
Plastic straw  Polypropylene Plastic (PP)  From 100 to 500 years 
Plastic spoons and forks  PE, PP,…  From 100 to 500 years 
Toothbrush  Polyamide Plastic (PA)  Over 500 years 
Cup of yogurt  Polypropylene Plastic (PP)  From 100 to 500 years 
Styrofoam cup  Extruded Polystyrene Foam Plastic (XPS)  From 50 to 500 years 
Lid  Polypropylene Plastic (PP)  From 100 to 500 years 
Diapers and sanitary napkins  Polypropylene Plastic (PP)  From 250 to 500 years 




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