A motley carpet of some 300 million tons of waste covers the floor of the Mediterranean Sea. Some of the waste will remain there, intact, for centuries. A newspaper takes 6 weeks to decompose in the sea, and a cardboard box takes 3 months. A cigarette butt takes 2 years, and a steel can 80 years. An aluminium can will last 100 years, and a plastic bag 300 years. A piece of polystyrene or a plastic bottle will both remain intact for 500 years. Glass lasts even longer-but is easily recyclable.
Vast though it is, the sea cannot absorb all our pollution. It is becoming saturated. Do not leave any waste on the shore or throw any overboard, and when possible dispose of it in recycle bins.
-Abrams, “365 Ways To Save The Earth”, 2008