SCUBA QUIZ: Can You Guess The Right Time to Breakdown?

SCUBA QUIZ: Can You Guess The Right Time to Breakdown?

Trash in the ocean can take decades to breakdown in the ocean, can you give the right estimate in years? Test your SCUBA knowledge here.

Millions of tons of plastic disappear in our oceans every year. It is even estimated that by 2050 there is more plastic than fish in our oceans. Plastic is durable and that makes it so dangerous to marine life. Turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish (which some species eat) and about 44% of the seabirds eat plastic according to the National Georgraphic. As we are on top of the food chain it is dangerous for us too, as we eat our own trash.

Even the most beautiful spots on earth are full of plastic and other trash. This is a picture I took close to Komodo National Park in Labuan Bajo, Flores, Indonesia. This is in the coral triangle, where the highest diversity of marine life can be found.

Throwing trash in the ocean is a bad habit but do you know how many years it really takes for something to decompose?

Can you guess how long it takes for these items to decompose in the ocean?

  • Cigarette butts
  • Plastic food bags
  • Styrofoam cups
  • Metal beverage cans
  • Plastic drinking bottles
HINT: They are in order, the last one takes the longest to breakdown.

Show answer


Aqualung sport Mesh Bag

Protect the reef: Collect some trash from every dive!

  • Cigarette butts: 1-5 years
  • Plastic food bags: 10-20 years
  • Styrofoam cups: 50 years
  • Metal beverage cans: 80-200 years
  • Plastic drinking bottles: 450 years

What you can do

Reduce, refuse, recycle! There are so many easy things you can do to help. Say no to straws, plastic bags in shops and other single use items.
Read more here: How to Help Saving the Reef - 10 Easy Ways!

How many did you got right? Comment the number below!
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Marlies Wolters
Founder of Dive O'Clock "It's dive o'clock somewhere!"
Become a Dive Professional

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