This Is How Long Your Junk Lasts In The Ocean [Infographic]

This Is How Long Your Junk Lasts In The Ocean [Infographic]
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Ever wondered how long a baby’s nappy takes to fully decompose in the ocean? According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), the answer is an astonishing 450 years. Check out the following infographic for more estimated decomposition rates of common items of marine debris. (We bet you can’t guess what man-made item survives the longest…)

The graphic below was created by the Museum für Gestaltung in Zürich, Switzerland. It breaks down how long 20 common refuse items survive in the ocean for, based on scientific estimates. As you can see, some of our garbage takes hundreds of years to decompose.

If current world events are anything to go by, a lot of this stuff might be floating around after all the humans are gone. A sobering thought.

Click on the infographic to enlarge.

[Via Museum für Gestaltung, Zürich]


  • Would it depend on the water temperature? In cold water, it will start off smaller and theoretically take less time to completely disappear.

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