Way back in the beginning, before starting my zero waste journey, there were times where I thought “Oh it doesn’t matter if I throw my banana skin in the landfill. It will just decompose there, rather than in my compost heap”. But boy was I wrong. And I was totally against putting anything plastic or glass in the landfill, because of course, that would never biodegrade. Well it turns out, that banana skin is probably doing more damage to the environment by being in the landfill than a plastic bottle is.
When organic matter like food scraps decomposes in your compost bin, or in a natural environment, air can flow in and out, which helps it decompose quickly and naturally. The bi-products are carbon dioxide and fertilizer, and happy worms and insects that may like to munch on your old banana skin. When it decomposes in a landfill however, it gets squashed under piles and piles of other rubbish and has no chance of being exposed to any air. So what happens when the banana skin has no air? It will eventually decompose, but in an anaerobic environment (without air) it will turn into leachate, which then turns into methane gas, and we all know how good methane is for the environment. NOT good. Methane is 20 times worse than carbon dioxide.
So what about the plastic water bottle? Well my guess is that the plastic bottle will not decompose, ever. It will just end up as part of your new community attractions, “trash mountain”. I guess maybe it will break up into tiny pieces eventually, but it will never completely go away. Am I right? Well the answer I found from the
But what is worse, methane gasses from the banana skin, or trash mountain? I am going with the methane gasses. I mean, trash mountain might look kinda nice once they grow some lush green grass over it… right?