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What is a non-biodegradable material?

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Quick Answer

A non-biodegradable material is one that does not break down or does not break down easily in the environment. These items collect over time and can pose a threat to the environment.

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Items that are common in everyday human life but that are nonbiodegradable and potentially hazardous to the environment include Styrofoam, plastics, tin, computer components and other synthetic materials. These items can poison water supplies, strangle or poison animals and pollute the environment. The majority of items that are found in landfills are nonbiodegradable. One way to dispose of non-biodegradable materials that causes less of a negative impact on the environment is to recycle. Some items, such as plastics, tin cans and glass bottles, are eligible to be recycled. Consumers can even earn money by turning in these items to a recycling center. It is also possible to reduce the amount of non-biodegradable items used by humans every day, such as plastic bags that are extremely harmful to the environment when disposed as waste. Reusable shopping bags can be used as an effective substitute. Some non-biodegradable items can also be reused for a period of time to reduce the number of these items, such as plastic water bottles, that are used by humans.

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