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What is the definition of non biodegradable?

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BIODEGRADABLE: The waste that breaks down easily by the action of some micro-organism (i.e. bacteria) and also can break down in a non-poisonous form. Biodegradable waste will eventually break down and become part of the earth and soil, like food scraps and paper.
Non-biodegradable waste will NOT break down (or won't for many many years). Examples are plastics, metal and glass. Some dangerous chemicals and toxins are also non-biodegradable, as are plastic grocery bags, Styrofoam (polystyrene), and other similar materials.


Non-biodegradable can be misleading, as often the subject that this term is associated with is organic matter and organic matter always decays so it is biodegradable. This term was principally created to help improve public awareness of responsible recycling.

Plastic is classed as non-biodegradable but certain types of plastic decay at faster rates than others: a plastic milk bottle container purchased from a supermarket may take anything from 5 to 20 years in the environment to become brittle enough to be destroyed by the elements. Other types of thicker plastic may take 100-500 years or more to fully decay but in the timespan of the history of the world that is just a blink of the eye.
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