Weed wackers are an essential tool for keeping your lawn looking great. They help cut weeds, shrubs, and vines that take over your lawn or garden.
But what can you do with the string after you’re done using it? Is weed wacker string biodegradable?
It depends. Weed wacker string is biodegradable but is likely to take some time (30-40 years) to decompose completely.
On the same, weed wacker string may consist of synthetic materials such as nylon and polypropylene, which don’t break down easily, making it non-biodegradable.
This post walks you through what you should know about weed wacker string and its characteristics in respect to the environment.
What are Weed Wacker Strings Made Of?
Most weed wacker strings are mostly made of synthetic materials, including nylon. Some are made of biodegradable materials like cotton.
The basic weed wacker string is commonly made of reinforced monofilament nylon.
This material has been around for years, though manufacturers have constantly improved its performance and durability. While plain nylon material still works excellent, stronger materials now exist.
Better weed wacker string materials such as strengthened composite nylon boast higher cutting power and are resilient to breakage.
Some strings have strengthening materials like aluminum integrated into the nylon or a reinforced core material to avoid breakage.
Other weed wacker strings consist of copolymers, polypropylene, or other synthetic materials that take longer to biodegrade.
Some especially biodegradable ones may come from cotton, which breaks down over a short period.
Is Weed Wacker String Biodegradable?
The answer depends on the type of string used in terms of materials. Some strings are made of natural materials like cotton, which will break down over time.
These weed wacker strings will get acted upon by microbes under apt conditions, converting them from their complex compounds to simpler organic matter.
The resulting organic matter returns to the earth as fertilizer for nourishing the soils.
Unfortunately, most weed wacker strings come from synthetic materials like nylon and copolymers, which take much longer to degrade.
Their structure is often rigid and can’t be interfered with by these organisms, meaning that they only degrade when broken down by physical means such as breaking them into smaller pieces.
Weed wacker strings made of nylon materials will take a long time to decompose in the environment, much like plastic.
Before such strings decay completely, they’ll have caused significant harm to the environment.
For instance, when thrown in landfills, nylon weed wacker strings may block drainage systems, cause flooding and ultimately lead to environmental pollution.
In most cases, weed wacker strings come reinforced with other stronger materials like aluminum for durable and effective performance.
These reinforcements may affect the weed wacker strings’ biodegradability in that they may slow down or altogether impede the natural decomposition process.
The speed at which weed wacker strings are biodegraded is also subject to temperature, moisture, and aeration.
If these items aren’t favorable, it may take longer for your weed trimmer line to disintegrate completely.
Advanced technologies also help break down synthetics such as carbon nanotubes into their crude components.
Marketers are selling weed wacker strings equipped with this feature making them environmentally friendly.
Some companies are now producing weed wacker strings made from biodegradable materials.
These strings are typically made from natural fibers like bamboo or corn.
While they may not break down as quickly as traditional strings, they’ll eventually decompose.
How Long Does Weed Wacker Take To Decompose?
It takes 30 to 40 years for weed wacker strings to break down. They’re made of synthetic materials that don’t break down in nature.
Most manufacturers of synthetic materials suggest sending these materials to a landfill.
Some local municipal recycling programs exist to help prevent these strings from ending up in landfills.
Is Biodegrading Weed Wacker String Harmful to the Environment?
Yes. Weed wacker strings are made of synthetic materials that do not readily break down in nature.
They are meant for a short-time use, so you probably don’t want them to end up in a compost pile or enrich your soil.
When synthetic materials break down, they produce carbon dioxide, chemicals, and slat compounds, which can harm the environment.
They leach into the soil and water supply thus endangering soil organisms, plants, and wildlife animals in our environment.
What to do with worn-out weed wacker strings?
- Put them in the trash. Make sure to bag the pieces in a separate bag from the rest of the trash.
- Compost them in your backyard compost pile.
- Send it to a landfill. A few manufacturers of synthetic materials suggest that the items be discarded in a landfill.
- Recycle. Local municipal recycling programs may accept a few, but most must be discarded in a trash receptacle.
Wrapping up: Is Weed Wacker String Biodegradable?
Weed wacker strings are made of synthetic biodegradable nylon materials. They won’t break down in the environment overnight though.
Like most non-biodegradable materials, weed wacker strings take over 100 years to decompose completely.
But some brands today manufacture biodegradable weed wacker strings that can decay in 5 to 10 years. If possible, these are the kind of wacker strings you should opt for to help protect the environment.