What is Non-Biodegradable Waste? [Explained]

. 11 min read
What is Non-Biodegradable Waste? [Explained]
  • Our morning starts by cutting open the milk pouch.
  • We pour the milk into the boiling pot and trash the plastic pouch.
  • We peel the veggies for cooking and trash the peels.
  • We receive home deliveries of the products we buy from online or offline stores and throw the packaging into the trash can.
  • These are some examples of domestic wastes.
  • Similarly, there are industrial wastes that account for a larger share.
  • Every day we produce as much waste product as we consume.
  • Waste materials are growing all over the world, and every year billions of tonnes of waste are generated.
  • These wastes are the result of domestic, business, and industrial activities throughout the day.
  • Incineration and landfill cause greenhouse gas emissions of carbon dioxide and methane.
  • In a country like the USA, the waste produced every year amounts to approximately 250 million tonnes.
  • The volume of waste in India is projected to rise from the present 62 million tonnes to 150 million tonnes by 2030.

What Is Difference Between Biodegradable And Nonbiodegradable?

  1. The accumulation of waste causes large-scale pollution of land and water and increases the cost that we have to pay for hampering the environment in this manner.
  2. Waste materials can be classified as biodegradable and non-biodegradable.
  3. Biodegradable wastes are those waste materials that are degraded by abiotic elements like oxygen, temperature, UV, etc., and also natural species like bacteria, fungi, and microbes.
  4. Food materials, kitchen wastes, and paper bags are some examples.

What Is Non Biodegradable Waste With Examples?

  • Non-biodegradable waste is defined as a substance that cannot be decomposed or dissolved naturally and acts as a source of pollution.
  • They may remain on this planet for many years without any degradation, thereby posing a critical threat to the environment.
  • Non-biodegradable waste examples include- plastics, metal, aluminium cans, tyres, pains, toxic chemicals, toxic chemicals, polystyrene, etc.

Non Biodegradable Definition And Examples

  1. A notorious example is plastic that is used in everything-from cola bottles to pencil boxes.
  2. Other examples are tin cans, chemicals for agricultural or industrial purposes, and some metals.
  3. They can cause diseases like cancer and are the major sources of air, soil, and water pollution.
  4. Inorganic wastes are also non-biodegradable.

Differences Between Biodegradable And Non Biodegradable Pollutants

S.NO. Biodegradable Waste Nonbiodegradable Waste
1 Degradation process is rapid Degradation process is slow
2 It is decomposed and degraded by microbes It cannot be decomposed
3 It disappears in a short time. It often accumulates
4 It becomes part of biogeochemical cycle It does not become part of the cycle. Instead turns toxic
5 Useful. Can be used to produce biogas, manure, etc. It can be separated and recycled, but the process is expensive.
  1. Non-biodegradable wastes can be divided into two categories: Those that can be recycled are called “Recyclable Waste” and those that cannot be recycled are called “Non-Recyclable Waste”.
  2. Paper is an example of recyclable waste.

Disadvantages Of Non Biodegradable Waste

  • One of the side effects of modern technological advancements is the inability of nature to decompose substances that humans create.
  • For example, the polythene used in shopping bags is non-biodegradable, meaning it does not break down naturally in landfills.
  • The non-biodegradable waste can last for hundreds of years and cause severe environmental problems.
  • They can sit as litter in forests, parks, rivers, or streams.
  • The piling of throwaway plastic and other materials has taken a toll on the ecosystem.
  • It has led to heaps of non-biodegradable waste forming in many areas of major cities.

Plastic Pollution

  1. Non-biodegradable single-use plastic is one of the biggest sources of pollution in the 21st century.
  2. They are used in a variety of items-from food wrappers to plastic bags and account for 40 % of the plastic produced each year.
  3. These remain in the environment for many years because they cannot be broken down by micro-organisms.
  4. They block drains and also harm animals.
  5. Animals can choke on plastic while eating.
  6. Plastics release harmful gases upon heating or burning and can also contaminate foodstuffs.

Non-Biodegradable Waste Management In India

  • Non-biodegradable waste harms human, animal, and plant life, and also ruin the environment.
  • It is the responsibility of both the government and also every citizen to treat non-biodegradable waste with proper care.
  • And the only way to do it is to Recycle, Reuse, and Reduce.
  • Since non-biodegradable wastes are not friendly to the ecosystem, they need to be removed to a landfill, or if it is possible, recycled.
  • For example, old plastic bags can be pelleted to make new ones.

Biodegradable Plastic

  1. Scientists have incorporated elasticity and long-lasting qualities just the same as plastics to some biodegradable materials that give the same benefits as plastic to the users and also get decomposed very easily.
  2. The palm oil industry generates waste.
  3. It is a good idea to recycle this waste into biodegradable plastic film and used it in the food packaging industry.
  4. Hemicellulose is a naturally occurring biopolymer that goes into the manufacturing of renewable materials such as protein and polysaccharides.
  5. Due to its biodegradability and low cost, it can replace non-biodegradable, petroleum-based polymers, or plastics.

Polymer Waste Disposal

  • The polymer waste consisting of plastic can be disposed of through the process of pyrolysis.
  • The process involves the polymer waste being heated in the presence of a suitable catalyst to a temperature of 400-600°C in an anaerobic environment.
  • A volatile matter comes out of the waste, which condenses to give pyrolysis oil.
  • This oil, after purification, can be reused for heating purposes, so this process is self-sustainable.

Construction Waste Management

  1. Construction and Demolition (C & D) wastes are generated that require separate handling and disposal mechanisms.
  2. This waste is collected at earmarked sites identified by the municipal corporations and transported to the designated recycling and waste processing facilities.
  3. In these processing facilities, aggregates, bricks, kerbstones, paver blocks, sand, and soil are produced out of the C & D waste.
  4. These are later reused in infrastructure projects.
  5. Hence, fresh natural resources need to be sorted while doing construction waste management in India.

Sustainable Solid Waste Processing

  • Indiscriminate dumping of garbage without treatment requires a huge landfill area each year.
  • So, in today’s context, scientific solid waste management has become necessary.
  • The plasma arc gasification process is an eco-friendly way to reduce the large volume of waste by up to 95%.
  • This process uses electricity to generate a high temperature of over 3000 °C that converts the waste into syngas.

New Technology

  1. CSIR has developed a Municipal Solid Waste Processing Facility that has a mechanised segregation system.
  2. It segregates solid waste into biodegradable waste (foods, fruits, grass, vegetables, etc.), metallic waste (like metal body or container), inert (glass, stones, etc.), and non-biodegradable (bottles, plastics, packaging material, pouches, etc.).

Waste Collection And Disposal

  • The scientific collection and disposal of non-biodegradable wastes like batteries and glass are gradually being practiced in different parts of the country.
  • Municipal workers visit commercial establishments and households to collect waste.
  • The waste collected in bins is segregated into biodegradable, domestic hazardous, and non-biodegradable.
  • Such waste is classified and sorted as per the types of plastic and other materials.
  • They are then sent to recycling units as per norms prescribed under the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.
  • Waste packets are brought to the material collection facility for further sorting as per the various classifications of the non-biodegradable waste.
  • Green volunteers are selected from local N.G.Os and are trained to sort waste as per the requirements of the recycling industry.
  • A green protocol committee has been formed in each municipality to coordinate the various initiatives.
  • Its task is to ensure that the wards under it turn plastic-free.
  • Local bodies are hoping that the expenses incurred for the handling of waste could be reduced as the scientific classification and sorting for the recycling industry would bring in revenue for stakeholders.
  • The non-biodegradable wastes that we generate results in numerous environmental and health hazards.
  • We should all do our part to keep our planet clean.
  • We hope that this article will enlighten the readers about this hidden danger and encourage them to fight it.
We hope our article turned out to be useful for you. For more such informative content, you can visit these linked articles as well:
how to download itr acknowledgement How to open a supplement store How to change the address on the GST portal
How to enable GST in tally How to cancel a cheque How to check bank balance online

Stay updated with new business ideas & business tips with OkCredit blogs in English, Hindi, Malayalam, Marathi & more!
Download OkCredit now & get rid of your bookkeeping hassles.
OkCredit is 100% Made in India.


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

Ans- The major differences between biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste is-

Biodegradable Waste

  1. Biodegradable substances decompose naturally.
  2. Biodegradable substances are beneficial for the environment.
  3. It includes human as well as animal waste.
  4. After degrading, some can be reused for other natural resources.

Non-biodegradable Waste

  • They don't decompose in the environment naturally.
  • They're heavily pollutant.
  • It is harmful to every living beings' life.
  • They're not easy to recycle.
  • Most non-biodegradable products are pretty expensive.

Q- What is biodegradable waste examples?

Ans- Some of the biodegradable waste or substances in the environment are-

  1. Dead plants and animals
  2. Human and animal excreta
  3. Fruits
  4. Vegetables
  5. Paper waste
  6. Flowers
  7. Sewage sludge
  8. Hospital waste
  9. Slaughterhouse waste
  10. Manures

Q- What are the effects of non biodegradable waste?

Ans- Some of the effects of non-biodegradable waste on the environment are-

  • It could harm the human and animal lifestyle
  • It produces harmful gases that could harm many
  • Most synthetic non-biodegradable items are extremely hard to decompose, hence, recycling becomes secondary.
  • It increases environmental pollution and block drains.
  • As nonbiodegradable items cannot be eaten up by microorganisms, they tend to stay longer and create a sufferable environment around.

Q- What does it mean if something is biodegradable?

Ans- The simple definition of biodegradable waste is the Ability to get decomposed in nature with the help of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, whilst smoothly get digested to the natural surroundings.

Q- What are the causes of non biodegradable waste?

Ans- Most issues or problems caused by non-biodegradable waste are created by humans, some of the major ones are-

  1. Destruction of soils
  2. Imbalance in the ecological system
  3. Death of sea animals and others due to plastic ingestion
  4. Land pollution
  5. Air pollution
  6. Water bodies pollution
  7. Organic magnification of dangerous materials
  8. The fertility of soils is affected
  9. Crop yielding is reduced

Q- How does biodegradable help the environment?

Ans- Biodegradable substances help the environment in the following manners-

  • Impeccably reduces environmental pollution
  • Plastic made from petroleum becomes much useless if recycled biodegradable plastics are used for manufacturing.
  • Biodegradable items are not only easy-to-recycle but also need only 35 percent of the energy for production.
  • It contributes to becoming a bit more eco-friendly for mother earth.
  • Broken down biodegradable resources either get decomposed organically or reused healthily.

Q- Is egg shell non biodegradable?

Ans- No, eggshells are absolutely biodegradable.

  1. The reason being its composition is 95% calcium carbonate.
  2. Hence, eggshells decompose very quickly after use or disposal.

Q- What are the 4 types of waste?

Ans- The 4 types of waste in our environment are-

  • Industrial Waste
  • Domestic Waste
  • Agricultural Waste
  • Commercial Waste

Q- Is cotton non biodegradable?

Ans. No, in fact, cotton is amongst the most biodegradable substances ever.

  1. Especially if its a 100% pure cotton, its decomposition process is pretty quick.
  2. It could be done within a week and last for 5 months.

Q- Why are some substances biodegradable and some non biodegradable?

Ans- The chief reason why some substances are biodegradable and some non-biodegradable are-

  • Biodegradable is organic, hence, decomposes naturally.
  • Non-biodegradable is synthetic, hence, harms the environment.

Q- Why is plastic non biodegradable?

Ans- Plastics are non-biodegradable because of the following reasons:

  1. Low-manufacturing cost
  2. Durable
  3. Versatile
  4. Makes it an uncommon area for bacteria
  5. Hence, making it non-bio-degradable

Q- Which fibres are non biodegradable?

Ans- Some of the synthetic fibres which remain non-biodegradable are-

  • Acrylic
  • Polyester
  • Rayon
  • Nylon

Q- Which Fibres are biodegradable?

Ans- The biodegradable fibres are-

  1. Jute
  2. Hemp
  3. Silk
  4. Wool
  5. Ramie
  6. Abaca
  7. Organic Cotton
  8. Organic Bamboo