Many people think that after a few years the trash that has made its way to the ocean, either intentionally or unintentionally, will break down and decompose. Unfortunately, this is not the case for almost all ocean debris. According to the Mote Marine Lab in Sarasota, Florida, it is estimated that one glass bottle alone takes 1 million years to decompose. However, it is undetermined the exact time it takes glass to break down due to its significantly long decomposition rate.
Ranked from most common to least common based off of the findings from the International Coastal Cleanup hosted by the Ocean Conservancy:
Plastic water bottles were first created and commercially used in 1947. That means if a plastic water bottle was dropped into the ocean the very first year that plastic bottles were created, it is still floating somewhere and will not be "completely gone" until the year 2397. Even then, plastics do not completely decompose, they become micro-plastics. Because of the many carbon-carbon bonds that are used in processing plastics to be as sturdy as they are, the organisms responsible for breaking down organic compounds do not recognize these unnatural strong carbon-carbon bonds and therefore cannot break these compounds down.
Comments will be approved before showing up.