We produce more than 267 million tons each year of municipal solid waste (MSW) which goes into our landfills, and the landfills are getting full. 75-80% of MSW is comprised of organic waste. When organic waste is disposed into landfills it decomposes over time, creating greenhouse gases that remain in our atmosphere between 50-200 years.
Plastics are a rapidly growing segment of MSW and are found in non-durable products, such as disposable diapers, trash bags, cups, utensils, medical devices, and household items like shower curtains. Plastic resins are also used in a variety of container and packaging products, such as beverage bottles, milk jugs, water bottles, and grocery bags. Plastic bottles take 450 years to decompose in a landfill, other plastic items may take up to 1000 years to decompose in a landfill.
Nationally, less than 62 years is all we have before currently operating landfills run out of space.