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What is the difference between biodegradable, and non-biodegradable waste?

Last updated date: 15th Jun 2024
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Hint: Some waste materials are of such a composition that they either decay naturally or can be decayed under the effect of enzymes released by the microbes. But, some wastes contain more stable and complex materials that are not easily degraded.

Complete answer:
Following are the differences between biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste:
Biodegradable wasteNon-biodegradable waste
Biodegradable wastes are those substances that degrade or break down naturally.Non-biodegradable wastes are those substances that do not degrade easily.
Materials like plants, animals, their waste, paper, fruits, vegetables fall under the category of biodegradable substances.Materials such as rubber, plastic, chemicals, paint plastic fall under the category of the non-biodegradable items.
The biodegradable waste occurs from natural products such as kitchen waste, organic waste, paper, etc.It is usually seen that non-biodegradable substances are chemically synthesized and does not occur naturally.
The rate of decomposition of biodegradable waste is fast. The rate of decomposition of the non- biodegradable waste is slow.
Microorganisms organisms like bacteria, fungi, and others have the capability of decomposing the material into the soil.The non- biodegradable substances do not degrade easily or by the action of natural agents.
After degradation, the biodegradable substances can be used to produce biogas, manure, fertilizers, compost.As the degradation rate of non-biodegradable waste is slow and the separation and recycling are not easy and expensive too.

Note: Biodegradable substances are not harmful to the environment as they do not persist for a longer period while non-biodegradable substances persist for a longer duration of time and maintain their chemical toxicity, thus causing environmental pollution.