Biodegradable & Non-biodegradable Waste

Biodegradable & Non-biodegradable Waste

Everyday humans create a lot of waste products. This waste could be a result from a factory or simply the vegetable peels that we leave after cutting the vegetables. The waste products must be labelled to easily classify them. We generally divide the waste materials into two different categories.

What is the Difference Between the Two?


Biodegradable Substances

The word “Biodegradable” is used for the things that could be easily decomposed under the soil with the help of natural agents like oxygen, water, micro-organisms etc. You can observe this decomposition if you throw a banana peel outside. Overtime group of micro-organisms like fungi, bacteria and small insects will start eating (decomposing) the banana peel. The natural elements of our environment help the decomposition process by breaking the complex organic units of the waste products into simpler units. By the end of the process, the simpler units return back to the soil. This makes the soil nourished again with minerals and nutrients. Interestingly, this process also makes the soil more fertile.

Non-biodegradable Substances

The waste products that cannot be broken down or decomposed into the soil are known as non-biodegradable substances. The natural agents are unable to break down these products. For example; plastic products, metal items, aluminium and tin cans, chemicals etc. These products are immune to the natural agents of decomposition. Therefore, even if you leave them for thousands of years they won’t decompose into the soil. You should always dump the non-biodegradable waste into a dustbin as throwing them carelessly will cause environmental damage. Many governments around the world have banned the use of plastic bags to protect the environment. Plus, some cities have two separate garbage bins (one for biodegradable waste another for non-biodegradable waste) to separate different wastes from each other.



Managing the waste materials is very important to protect the environment from damage. To do this we have to identify the waste materials before dumping them. For this reason, the non-biodegradable materials should be recycled for reuse.  Plastic is a manmade material which makes it the most harmful material for the environment. Therefore, we have to stop using plastic bags to save the environment.



"Yeah we all shine on, like the moon, and the stars, and the sun. "-John Lennon

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