People in Kent - Which takes longer to biodegrade, a paper bag or orange peel?

Contributed by editor on Feb 06, 2017 - 04:00 PM

The Great British Spring Clean takes place next month, but do you know how long some items of rubbish take to biodegrade - see our list - it may surprise you!



The Leader of Kent County Council is calling on people from clubs, communities, schools and businesses across the county to get active and help clean up their neighbourhoods.


With the Great British Spring Clean taking place in the first weekend of March, KCC is planning a number of its own clean ups in Kent and is encouraging others to get involved too.

Launching Keep Kent Clean, KCC Leader Paul Carter said: “We should all be proud of where we live and care about our communities. There’s just no excuse for chucking your rubbish on the ground.

Rubbish skip

“The cost to our district and borough authorities in Kent for picking up litter tossed onto our roadsides or in our town centres runs into millions of pounds a year – money that could be much better spent elsewhere.

“With the forthcoming Great British Spring Clean I’ll be making sure Kent County Council is doing its bit and would encourage anyone who is fed up with litter to get involved too.

“The Great British Spring Clean – and our own Keep Kent Clean campaign - is about everyone working together."

Keep Kent Clean will be encouraging tidy-up activity throughout March, with a particular focus on registering thousands of clean-up events in the Great British Spring Clean over the long weekend from March 3-5.

KCC’s own work will include vegetation clearance, white line refreshing, litter picks in certain areas such as country parks, and cleaning of road signs.

The ambition of the scheme is to bring together people from across the country to clear up the litter that blights towns, villages, countryside and coastline.


2.25 million pieces of litter

About 2.25 million pieces of litter are dropped on the streets of the UK every day with 30 million tons of rubbish collected from England’s streets each year.

Councils in England spend over £700 million on street cleaning services every year.

This is the first year the Great British Spring Clean has been held with a view to it becoming an annual event helping to bring people together and clean up the country.

How long does it take to biodegrade?

Paper bag up to one month


Apple core - 2 weeks

Cardboard - 2 months

Waxed milk carton- 3 months

Orange peel up to two years

Banana skin up to two years

Plastic bag up to 10–20 years

Cigarette butts up to 12 years

Tin can - 50 years

Foamed Plastic Cups - 50 years

Rubber-Boot Sole - 50-80 years

Batteries - 100 years

Aluminium cans- 200-250 years

Plastic bottle up to 450 years

Sanitary Pads - 500-800 years

Monofilament Fishing Line - 600 years

Tinfoil - does not biodegrade

Glass bottles and chewing gum are not biodegradable


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