Non-biodegradable materials are substances that cannot be naturally broken down by organisms and contribute to environmental pollution. Unlike biodegradable materials, which can be easily handled by natural processes, these wastes resist decomposition and persist on Earth for extended periods, posing a more significant environmental threat.
A prominent example is plastics, widely used in various applications. To enhance their durability and temperature resistance, higher-quality plastics have been developed, making them long-lasting even after use. Other examples include cans, metals, and chemicals utilized in agriculture and industry, which are major contributors to air, water, and soil pollution, as well as health issues like cancer.
Given the environmental unfriendliness of non-biodegradable wastes, efforts are underway to find alternatives. Scientists have proposed ideas such as biodegradable and compostable plastics, which incorporate biodegradable materials into plastics, making them easily and rapidly degradable. However, this process can be costly.
Impact of Non-Biodegradable Substances on the Environment
The impacts are discussed below:
- Non-biodegradable substances persist in their undecomposed state in the environment for extended periods, resulting in pollution.
- They can infiltrate the food chain via various routes, such as entering plant tissues through contaminated soil or water.
- These substances also have the potential to harm the physical environment by diminishing soil fertility.
Also See: What is Climate Change Mitigation?
Methods of Safe Disposal of Non-Biodegradable Substances
You can use these methods for safe disposal of non-biodegradable substances:
- Recycling involves processing these materials for reuse.
- Landfills, where non-biodegradable substances are deposited in low-lying areas and covered with soil.
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