Scientists' approximations on how long something lasts in a landfill listed below:
* banana -- 3 to 4 weeks
* paper bag -- 1 month
* cotton rag -- 5 months
* wool sock -- 1 year
* cigarette butt -- 2 to 5 years
* leather boot -- 40 to 50 years
* rubber sole (of the boot) -- 50 to 80 years
* tin can (soup or vegetable can) -- 80 to 100 years
* aluminum can (soda pop can) -- 200 to 500 years
* plastic 6-pack rings -- 450 years
* plastic jug -- 1 million years
* Styrofoam cup -- unknown? forever?
* glass bottle -- unknown? forever?
A long time ago, when the kids were little, I remember one of them chastising me (yes, chastising) about buying styrofoam plates. "Do you know how long a styrofoam cup lasts in a landfill?" They asked, apparently armed with info from school. They were kids. They were messy. Disposable plates were easier...on me. But look at what they do to the planet! Over the years I've stopped even buying paper plates &/or cups for the house. When I'm traveling I won't use a styrofoam bowl or plate, opting instead for a napkin or whatever else will work.
Every time I go to the store and forget my bags I can kick myself. 9 times out of 10 even if I remember them I forget them in the car and have to go back out to get them. And yes, I do go back out to the car. I still have a lot to do to be more eco friendly and make it a natural part of what I do.