Waste and Recycling
Human Anatomy and Physiology

What is the difference between biodegradable and non-biodegradable?


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2015-09-24 17:15:52
2015-09-24 17:15:52

Biodegradable wastes decompose into soil.

  • Kitchen food scraps
  • Garden waste
  • Paper and egg shells
  • Human and animal waste
  • cardboard boxes

Non-biodegradable wastes take a long time or never to decompose.

  • metal cans
  • bottles
  • toxic chemicals
  • plastic products
  • metal scraps
A:In general, differences are based on whether or not the action of "a biological agent" can cause the waste in question to be "degraded" to some acceptable level. A:Biodegradable means that natural processes can break down the material into their natural components. Whereas, non-biodegradable materials would not be affected by natural processes that would break the material down. Plastic usually is non-biodegradable, because their are very few natural processes that could break the plastic down into smaller elements, whereas something like wood, will rot and decay and be recycled back into the soil. A:Biodegradable implies that the material will be destroyed/dissembled by biological and/or natural elements. Nitric Acid rain manufactured in thunderstorms, Oxygen in the air, ultraviolet light in sunlight, and all kinds of microscopic "critters" in the atmosphere and soil which "chomp"on all kinds of materials [including some petroleum products]. A:Non-biodegradable implies that the material is totally immune from attack by any biological/natural elements and therefore, will exist forever in essentially the same form for ever.
Something that is biodegradable can be decomposed by living organisms such as bacteria. Items that are non-biodegradable cannot be decomposed by living things.
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Related Questions

Biodegradable and nonbiodegradable

Biodegradable pollutants eventually break down and become part of the environment again. Nonbiodegradable pollutants never become a natural part of the ecosystem again.

Only Plastics are non biodegradable. because the molecular bond between them is so strong hence it is difficult to break it hence it is non biodegradable

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it is a nonbiodegradable substance, it corrodes, slowly.

No. Cow dung is organic material which definitely makes it biodegradable.

The difference between biodegradable and non biodegradable is things that are biodegradable break down after time. Non biodegradable things do not break down over time.

Biodegradable can be broken down by the earth naturally, non- biodegradable can not.

by not throwing the plasticts in the groud is on of the way to control nonbiodegradalle waste

Nonbiodegradable waste is basically "trash that doesn't decompose naturally". Meaning that bacteria will not break it down and turn it into topsoil. Thinks like banana peels will decompose very quickly, thus they are biodegradable. But plastics, foams, and metals will not decompose, thus they are nonbiodegradable.

soapy are biodegradable and soap-less non biodegradable

Biodegradable materials will rot, weather, or rust and 'return to nature'. Wood, paper, and even most metals are biodegradable to various degrees. Nonbiodegradable materials will not break down naturally. Most plastics and synthetic materials are nonbiodegradable.

Biodegradable waste is more useful because it degrades. It breaks down into nutrients and organic material that is useful, like compost.

nonbiodegradable waste can last for hundreds even thousands of years.

biodegradable pollutants can be broken down by living organsims where as non-biodegradable cannot be broken down back into the soil

non-biodegradable plastic is a kind of plastic which is not easily decomposed by nature and vice versus

No. It is Biodegradable unlike Plastic, witch is non biodegradable. ( I highly appreciate your concern for the environment. So next time feel free to carry your food wrapped in Aluminium foil. )

Biodegradable things break down over time. Non biodegradable items sit in dumps and landfills for a long time because they do not break down.

Biodegradable breaks down in the environment and is harmless. Non does not.

Hundreds, 400-700 I think, but I'm not certain, landfill sites do not provide good conditions for nonbiodegradable plastics to degrade,

Biodegradable means it can be decomposed but it needs a chemical agent to help break it down . Whereas degradable means it can be chemically degraded and it does not need an agent to degrade it.

Material that's nonliving (excluding dead organic matter) is non-biodegradable. Plastic, metal, styrofoam, and corrugated cardboard are non-biodegradable, while a dead tree, animal waste, and skin cells are biodegradable. A difference between biodegradable trash and non-biodegradable trash is that the biodegradable can be thrown out into a backyard and eventually turn into soil or something that other living things can reuse, while non-biodegradable trash can be recycled, as in reused for its original purposed, usually for humans.

Biodegradable means that something is capable of being decomposed by bacteria or other living organisms. A paper wrapper for a sandwich is biodegradable, but a plastic box is not. Bury the plastic box, dig it up a year later, it is still there. The paper wrapper would have degraded to humus (soil).

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