Litter Facts

Littered ItemNumber of Years to Decompose
Cigarette Butts5 to 30 years
Styrofoam, Glass, and Car TiresOver 1 million years
Banana Peels, Apple Cores, other Food ItemsUp to 5 weeks
Aluminum Cans200 to 500 years
Plastic BagsUp to 600 years

Litter Factoids

  • Litter Fact 1: 1 in 4 Texans admits to littering in the past year.
  • Litter Fact 2: Approximately 435 million pieces of visible litter accumulate on Texas roadways each year.
  • Litter Fact 3: The most common forms of litter are food/organic material, cigarette butts, and small pieces of paper-receipts, gum wrappers.
  • Litter Fact 4: 71% of litter consists of microlitter that is not easily seen on roadways, such as cigarette butts, straws, and gum wrappers.
  • Litter Fact 5: Tobacco trash is the most common form of litter found on Texas roadways.
  • Litter Fact 6: You can be fined $500 every time you litter in Texas. And, if what you toss weighs more than 5 pounds, you may have to pay up to $2,000.
  • Litter Fact 7: Tire debris is the second-largest component of litter and is pervasive across all areas of Texas.
  • Litter Fact 8: If every person in Texas picked up just two pieces of trash every month, our highways would be completely litter-free in just one year.
  • Litter Fact 9: 62% of Texas smokers admit to tossing their cigarette butts out of the window of their cars. Please keep your butts in the vehicle at all times. Thanks.
  • Litter Fact 10: Litter is trash that is not disposed of properly in a trashcan. Apple cores are litter too!