What Are Some Forms of Nonbiodegradable Waste?


Nonbiodegradable waste is a type of substance that cannot be transformed into a natural harmless state via bacterial action. This may result in negative consequences on the environment.

Nonbiodegradable vs. Biodegradable In most cases, nonbiodegradable waste is inorganic and biodegradable items are organic. When materials are biodegradable, they can break down into water, simple organic molecules, carbon dioxide or methane. This can occur as the result of microorganisms, or processes, such as aerobic digestion, composting or anaerobic digestion.

The primary difference between the two is that when something is biodegradable, it is able to break down naturally. With nonbiodegradable items, they tend to just take up space and remain in the environment.

Effects of Nonbiodegradable Waste As nonbiodegradable waste accumulates, it may affect marine life. One example is plastic containers and soda can rings getting into oceans. The marine animals might eat the plastic, resulting in experiencing digestive issues. With soda can rings, marine animals may essentially get stuck in them.

On land, humans have to find a place to store nonbiodegradable waste. The more waste created, the larger landfills and other storage areas have to become. These items will not decompose on their own, so they can remain in landfills for decades. In addition to landfills, such items, such as Styrofoam or certain plastic cups might get into parks, the seashore, forests and fields when humans litter.

While nonbiodegradable waste is the primary concern, especially when it comes to the environment, biodegradable might also cause issues when it is present in large quantities. For example, if large amounts of this type of waste get into a water supply, it has the potential to deplete oxygen. Other types might pose health concerns for humans, and environmental threats, when there is too much, such as cattle manure.

Managing Nonbiodegradable Waste Reducing, reusing and recycling are the three methods in which this type of waste may be better managed and kept under control. In 2011, Americans created approximately 250 tons of waste and they composted and recycled about 35 percent of it, says the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Communities and cities may have recycling programs that allow residents to simply set out recyclables at the curb to be picked up like regular trash. This might make it more convenient to recycle. They typically provide guidelines residents can use so that they ensure they are doing this properly.

Companies and individuals should pay attention to the materials that they are using. This is especially true for product packaging. This is a major source of waste in households. Skip bottled water, buy larger packages instead of those individually wrapped and consider item packaging that can be recycled.

Reusing certain trash and consumable items is possible to alleviate bio-degradable waste in the environment. In terms of trash, items, such as bread bags, coffee cans and even bread twist ties can be reused for other purposes. In terms of consumables, look for those that are multi-use. For example, napkins that can be laundered instead of paper napkins that are thrown away after a single use. Cloth diapers are another example of consumables people can reuse.