Marine Debris Biodegradation Time Line

Time to degrade
phot of jar with marine debris

Paper towel

2-4 weeks


6 weeks

Cardboard box

2 months

Waxed milk carton

3 months

Apple core

2 months

Cotton gloves

1-5 months

Wool gloves

1 year


1-3 years

Painted wooden sticks

13 years

Photo-degradable beverage holder

6 months

Plastic beverage holder

400 years

Plastic bags

10-20 years

Plastic bottle

100 years

Glass bottle and jars


Disposable diapers

50-100 years

Tin can

50 years

Aluminium can

200 years

Monofilament fishing line

600 years

(Mote Marine Laboratory, 1993)


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