When you think about littering, is it only plastic and non-biodegradable waste items that come to mind? If your answer is yes, then you are not alone.
Yearly, the average American inadequately disposed of 1,200 pounds of organic waste. The reason is the belief that nature will decompose the waste, which is not unfounded.
However, you are littering unless there is no established disposal method for the waste you are throwing away. If you wonder if throwing a banana peel on the ground is littering, stick around, and you will discover what makes this common practice unacceptable.
Is Throwing a Banana Peel Out the Window Littering?
Throwing a banana peel out the window is definitely littering. It is also dangerous if left in the environment. You may think a banana peel is organic waste and will biodegrade after a while. And you will be correct, but consider the damage if everyone leaves their banana peels and other organic waste to nature to dispose of.
Unlike plastics and manufactured waste products, organic products waste like banana peels will decompose within a short period, but they are still out of place in the ecosystem.
Banana peels are slippery waste products that may cause accidents in nature. Or, improper disposal may lure wild animals from the safety of the wild.
You guessed it – they will pay civilization more visits when they get the idea that there are food options outside of their familiar territory. Unfortunately, this may increase the percentage of wildlife-vehicle collisions.
If you throw your banana peel out the window because you believe wildlife will feed on it, don’t be surprised if you see it there a couple of years later.
The scent will attract them, even though they may not end up feeding on it. Or, they may make a habit of looking for food along the highways, thereby increasing the risk of wildlife accidents.
Banana peels will be an attractant for wild animals until after they break down, which can be longer than a couple of years.
How Long Does it Take a Banana Peel to Decompose?
Ask anyone why they throw their banana peels out the window, and they will likely defend it by saying it is organic waste.
Nature is expected to take care of it, as it does the other waste materials untouched by man.
Left outdoors, decomposing a banana peel will take anything from 7 months to 2 years. The time frame will be shorter in warmer temperatures because microbes need heat to break down the banana peels actively. But during the winter, the process will be slower.
Bananas are one of the most produced and consumed foods worldwide, with about fifty million tons imported and exported yearly.
There is no doubt that bananas are a lot of people’s favorites, and they make great trail snacks. But it is better for the environment when you dispose of your peels properly.
Imagine if a good number of people who also love bananas decide to dispose of the peels on the trail. It could help wild animals overcome humans’ instinctual wariness and compete for resources.
Out of sight should not be out of mind when disposing of organic waste. Your banana peel and other trail snacks should be appropriately disposed of.
A compost pile is a great place and will break down in four to five weeks.
There is a difference between the decomposition period when a banana peel is in a compost pile and when it is thrown away without caution.
Microbes, heat, water, and oxygen will turn the peel into humus, but you will get faster results in a more controlled environment like a compost pile.
Rest assured that the heat in the compost pile will kill whatever harmful parasite is on the banana peel, making it safe for garden and potted plants.
What Can Happen if You Throw a Banana Skin on the Road?
Have you ever wondered what can happen if you throw a banana skin on the road? If you have checked for a trash can and cannot find one in sight, is it okay to throw the peel on the road?
Well, it isn’t.
The first thing that can happen if you throw a banana skin on the road is that it will serve as an attractant. Wildlife will perceive the smell while hunting for food. They may or may not make a habit of coming back to troll the area for more.
Statistics show that during the pandemic alone, about 2.1 million wild animals like deer were hit by vehicles.
Banana skin is also unsightly throughout the decomposition process. And it is no myth that litter begets litter.
If someone else sees your banana skin on the road, they may think it is okay to add theirs to the pile. Coupled with the long period, it takes to break down the waste; we will have a batch of unsightly organic waste littered around.
Banana is a non-native plant to nature, considering it does not grow around the area. Leaving the environment with that kind of litter may disrupt the balance, no matter how insignificantly.
Throwing your banana skin on the road will cause more problems for the ecosystem. A human-animal conflict that can get out of hand may be created by giving animals the wrong idea.
Can You Throw Banana Peels in the Garden?
Bananas are nutrient-packed, even to the skin. Calcium, magnesium, potassium, sulfur, and phosphorus are essential nutrients it provides, and your plants and soil can benefit from them.
You can put banana peels in the garden, but they must be strategically placed if you want to enjoy the organic benefits. Throwing banana peels in your garden will not get you the desired benefits. Instead, place a single layer on top of the soil and make sure that it doesn’t touch the plant stem. The rotten peels may attract flies, so just cover them with mulch such as sugar cane mulch.
Sure, they will eventually decompose, but this may take months to years. And the ecosystem will not enjoy the organic matter it should supply.
Instead, you can turn the skin into a liquid fertilizer. Cut the peels into smaller pieces and soak for three days.
Strain the water and pour it into a spray bottle for your indoor and garden plants. And you can bury the leftover peels in your garden or compost pile.
Alternatively, you can turn the banana peels into dried chips for the soil. Or they can be ground into a powder that you can mix with the earth.
Another option is using the banana peels as mulch. Don’t allow direct contact with your plant stem; ensure you cover it with other mulch materials to prevent pests and bugs from seeking it out.
Is a Banana Peel Biodegradable?
It is biodegradable if it can break down within the shortest period.
Typically, microorganisms can break down any organic material.
So, yes, a banana peel is biodegradable. Given the right weather conditions, it will break down to humus for the soil within six months to two years. The factors contributing to biodegradation are heat, microorganisms, moisture, and oxygen.
Before the end of the first week, the activity of fungi and bacteria would start. But it will be slower if there is not enough heat.
This is why the compost pile is the best place to decompose organic waste. Even on cold days, the heat in a compost pile remains controlled. And it helps that a bunch of other stuff is also generating and contributing to the heat.
A banana peel is biodegradable but don’t join the trend of improper disposal. A compost bin is easy to set up; with a trash can half-filled with leaves, you can begin to dispose of your organic waste properly.
Can You Get a Ticket for Throwing a Banana Peel Out of the Car Window?
After several decades of engaging in less than environmentally sensitive activities, conscious efforts are being made to improve the ecosystem.
That includes controlling waste disposal. These days, anything that puts the environment at risk can earn you a fine.
But can you get a ticket for throwing a banana peel out of the car window? Definitely, if you are caught in the act, you will get a ticket. Throwing a banana peel out of the car window is littering, and a dangerous one at that.
What if it lands on the coming vehicle’s windscreen and causes an accident?
Additionally, a banana skin will look immensely out of place on a tarred road. Many cars will drive over it and create a crushed and unattractive mess.
It will act as an attractant for bugs and even wild animals. Again, the dangerous act can result in wildlife-vehicle collisions.
Something similar will happen even if you aim well and hit the woods. A banana peel is out of place anywhere else apart from your compost pile.
The best thing to do is store the banana peels in a plastic bag to prevent fruit flies from circling them. If you don’t have a compost bin in your yard or community, put the bag in your freezer alongside similar waste and dispose of it at once.
Since it is well wrapped, you can toss it in the trash can.
Do Banana Peels Attract Rodents?
Chopped or blended banana peels can improve the quality of your soil and plants. But can they attract rodents?
If it looks and smells like food, it will attract rodents. That is one of the reasons it is best to avoid throwing your banana peels in your garden, on the trail, or out the window. You will give pests like mice and squirrel the wrong impression that there is a good source nearby.
Dispose of the waste properly – by burying it in your garden, chopping into smaller pieces or blending it, or adding it to your compost pile.
Can Banana Peel be Used as Fertilizer?
Organic waste is one of the best things you can feed your plants. And the many nutrients in a banana peel should not be allowed to go to waste.
So, yes, banana peel can be used as fertilizer. As a tea, you can soak the skin in water for three days and wet your indoor and outdoor plants. The leftover should be chopped and added to the soil to replenish it further. But ensure they don’t touch any part of the plants.
The skin will decompose slowly and release nutrients into the soil.
You can also add the peels to your compost pile, where they will decompose with the rest of the waste.
Another method of fertilizing your plants with banana peels is grinding the dried skin. In its powdered form, it will thoroughly mix with the soil and slowly replenish it.
Littering is one significant threat to the environment, and it doesn’t matter if it is organic waste or not. When dealing with nature, it is best to leave things as you meet them, including maintaining the ecosystem.