Christmas decorations take centuries to biodegrade

Many Christmas decorations contain plastic, a material which has a slow biodegradation process
Christmas ornaments – File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
14/12/2017
12:03
Mexico City
NOTIMEX
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Disposing of old Christmas decorations to buy new ones ahead of the season or throwing all of them away after the festivities is an action that damages the environment since most decorations and ornaments are made of plastic – which can take up to one thousand years to biodegrade.

Planet Ark, an environmental organization based in Sydney, Australia, has launched a campaign to raise awareness and minimize our ecological impact during this Christmas season.

While the organization acknowledges there are few specific studies on this issue, some of the materials ornaments and decorations are made of have a slow degradation process that can adversely affect our environment.

For instance, some of the crystals in Christmas lights are estimated to have a lifespan of up to a million years. Moreover, some decorations contain metals, like copper or brass, that take over 60 years to biodegrade.

Aluminum, a material also commonly found in Christmas decorations, has a lifespan of 200 years.

For these reasons, the organization has issued a series of recommendations, their 12 Do's of Christmas, to help reduce our ecological impact, such as using reusable or recyclable wrapping, minimize food waste by serving smaller portions, and buying good quality Christmas decorations and ornaments so they can be used in following seasons.

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