Yes, water bottles will break down but only through the recycling process. They will not break down on their own, or in landfills.
Most water bottles are made out of Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET or PETE for short), one of the major 7 types of plastics. PET is unable to biologically degrade due to its resistance to micro-organisms’ attacks, so they will never break down if left alone.
PET plastic is highly useful for recycling, however, so it is important to make sure they do not end up in landfills. If recycled, they can be turned into a variety of products: sleeping bags, ropes, fabrics, bottles, etc.
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