Distinguish Between Biodegradable and Non-biodegradable Substances

By Shivank Goel|Updated : October 3rd, 2022

The difference between biodegradable and non biodegradable substances is that biodegradable substances are those that break down quickly when they come into contact with bacteria, fungi, and other living things. On the other hand, a non biodegradable substance is any form of matter that is a cause of pollution and cannot be degraded by natural organisms.

Difference between Biodegradable and Non biodegradable

Typically, biodegradable materials include those that are used daily, such as food waste, tree leaves, and grass clippings. The majority of plant materials are biodegradable. 

Biodegradable Substances

Non biodegradable Substances

The biodegradation process in waste is quick.

The non-biodegradable waste degradation process is slow.

Biodegradable waste is not stored and is instead quickly consumed.

Non-biodegradable waste frequently builds up.

Biodegradable waste participates in biogeochemical cycles and decomposes quickly.

Most non-biodegradable waste is hazardous and extremely sluggish to enter biogeochemical cycles.

Biodegradable waste is used to create biogas, compost, and energy manure.

Non-biodegradable waste can be distinguished from recyclable materials, although doing so is quite expensive.

Biodegradable vs Non biodegradable Substance

Handling biodegradable materials is simple. The majority of towns promote the composting of waste products, which are later used to create humus, an organically rich substance for use in soil.

Wastes that are not biodegradable cannot be broken down or eliminated by natural processes. They endure on earth for a very long time without degrading. As a result, the threat they pose is likewise more serious. The differences between biodegradable and non-biodegradable are as follows:

Effect of Biodegradable and Non biodegradable Substance on Environment

The environmental effects of biodegradable materials are as follows:

  • Biodegradable waste decomposition is accompanied by an unpleasant odor that enters the environment and affects the people living nearby.
  • The amount of biodegradable garbage serves as a haven for house flies and other insects that serve as vectors of disease spread.

The environmental effects of non-biodegradable materials are as follows:

  • The fertility of the soil is impacted by the excessive use of non-biodegradable herbicides and fertilizers.
  • A few non-biodegradable wastes get biomagnified, enter food chains, and impact the diverse biotic elements of the environment.

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FAQs on Difference between Biodegradable and Non biodegradable Substances

  • Biodegradable substances naturally decompose in the environment by the action of microorganisms. On the other hand, Non-biodegradable Substances do not decompose naturally.

  • Biodegradable substances are wastes that naturally break down in the environment and are thought to be safe for the environment. Non-biodegradable substances are wastes that do not break down naturally in the environment, pollute the ecosystem, and are detrimental to living things.

  • Plastics, glasses, metals, harmful chemicals, and poisons are a few examples of non-biodegradable waste. Plastic items including supermarket bags, containers, and water bottles are all non-biodegradable.

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