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    #1

    Harmful to the environment: decay, decompose

    Hello,


    Which is the right word to say:

    1. Plastic bags decompose/decay very slowly and are harmful to the environment.
    2. It takes years for plastic to decay/decompose.

    Which sentence is correct?


    thanks

    PS
    I know I can use decompose and decay while talking about organic objects such as body, wood, plants. And what about plastic bags that we can have from shopping centers? Do they decompose or decay?

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Harmful to the environment: decay, decompose

    I think you could use either word and be understood. I would personally choose decompose. I mostly associate decay with organic material or radioactive material.

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    #3

    Re: Harmful to the environment: decay, decompose

    Quote Originally Posted by Birne View Post

    PS
    I know I can use decompose and decay while talking about organic objects such as body, wood, plants. And what about plastic bags that we can have from shopping centers? Do they decompose or decay?

    You can use either, according to the dictionary, they have the exact same meaning. I would go for 'decompose' over decay in this instance, however I would also consider other options, such as 'disintegrate' mostly because you're referring to an inanimate object.
    I'm not a teacher yet, but I am studying a Bachelor of Education with an English Literature major at Charles Sturt University, in NSW, Australia.

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