What is one of the best solutions to get rid of non-biodegradable waste? (9 examples of non-biodegradable waste) 

In this article, the solution to deal with non-biodegradable waste will be enlightened. Other covered topics would be: 

  • What is recycling?
  • What are the benefits of recycling?
  • What is non-biodegradable waste?
  • What are the examples of non-biodegradable waste?
  • Why is it important to get rid of non-biodegradable waste?
  • What are some other ways to get rid of non-biodegradable waste?
  • FAQs

What is one of the best solutions to get rid of non-biodegradable waste?

One of the best solutions to get rid of non-biodegradable waste is recycling because it leads to less waste generation by reusing the waste. 

It also leads to decreased negative impacts which otherwise may be caused by non-biodegradable waste. 

Non-biodegradable waste is known to cause a lot of harm to the environment and human health. Examples may include global warming, pollution, cancer, and neurological complications. 

Other methods to deal with non-biodegradable waste may include incineration, landfill, composting, and vermicomposting. 

What is recycling?

In simple words, recycling can be explained as a process in which old materials are altered in a way so that they may be used again as new materials. 

It is a very important process to ensure that there is less waste generation and accumulation. 

The applications and processes of recycling are also important because the current waste generation has already crossed the given threshold. 

The current waste generation is expected to be around 2 billion tons which may also rise up to more than 3 billion tons in just a few decades. 

If those figures are translated at an individual level, then it can be said that an average person is responsible for the generation of more than 5 kgs of waste per day.

These staggering figures reveal why there is an increased need for us to recycle because it is one of the best ways to ensure that waste generation is not passing the supposed threshold. 

You may also wonder whether all materials are recyclable. Whether all materials are recyclable or not? The answer is no. Not all materials are recyclable, however, most consumer products can be recycled. 

Recycling is also regarded as a safe heaven for materials that are not biodegradable. A good example can be nylon. Nylon is a non-biodegradable material which has the capacity to remain in the environment for a very long time. 

While it persists, it may damage life and the environment in the worst possible ways. Therefore, authorities such as Econyl have started endeavours in which they recycle nylon. 

In this way, there is less waste generation while also ensuring that the negative effects of nylon do not cloud the environment and life. 

Some of the common materials which can be recycled include:

  • Paper
  • Plastic 
  • Glass
  • Metals
  • Batteries 
  • Electronics

As a general rule of thumb, most of the materials can be recycled including both biodegradable and non-biodegradable. However, since the impacts of non-biodegradable products are greater than biodegradable products, the recycling of non-biodegradable products is cherished more. 

What are the benefits of recycling?

After a brief introduction to what recycling is, let us now shift our focus to the applications of recycling. It will help us build our case about the importance and applications of recycling. 

The most prominent use of recycling is that fewer amounts of waste are produced and sent to landfills. Therefore, if there is recycling, there will be better management of waste by the waste management authorities. 

Recycling would also mean that the negative effects of waste are avoided on the environment and life. For example, synthetic polymers like plastics may convert into microplastics when disposed of. These microplastics may cause all sorts of problems. 

These may include loss of life, toxiciation of water ecosystems, infiltrations into the food chains, medical complications, and soil pollution – to name a few. 

However, if materials like plastics are recycled then there is less chance for these negative impacts. At least, there is a way to deter and avoid these impacts as long as biodegradable and non-biodegradable materials and products are recycled. 

Another advantage of recycling is that it leads to the conservation of natural resources. To explain this, let us take an example of paper. Paper is obtained from trees and it is a biodegradable product. If the paper is not recycled and disposed of instead, then it means that to meet the need for more paper, there will be further cutting of trees. 

This will impact the world in a very negative way because natural resources like trees and water are already very limited. If there is no recycling, there will be unsustainable misuse of resources which will steer us away from the fundamentals of sustainability. 

Recycling is not just great for the environment but also for the economy. Because recycling involves reusing products, that means that half of the work is already done. 

This gives a positive jolt to the economy and the budget. There is lesser use of energy and non-renewable resources. 

This also means that recycling is a measure to make sure that there are fewer GHGs in the atmosphere so that the issue of global warming may also be tackled. 

This is important because global warming leads to countless other environmental problems as well that may include rising sea levels, insect attacks, unprecedented weather patterns, melting of glaciers et cetera. 

Another major benefit of recycling is that there is less pollution when producers and manufacturers resort to the practices of recycling. This is because there is little to no collection of raw materials and resultantly, the effects such as pollution and environmental toxicity are also avoided in this way. 

What is non-biodegradable waste?

You may wonder what non-biodegradable waste is in the first place. Non-biodegradable waste is a type of waste which can not be degraded by the action of microbes. 

To understand non-biodegradable waste better, let us delve into the theory and philosophy of biodegradability. 

Biodegradability is a process through which waste is broken down into simpler substances so that it may become a part of nature again. 

Biodegradability is nature’s way of ensuring that waste does not accumulate and gather so that negative effects on life and the environment may be avoided. 

Biodegradability can also be detailed as a natural dustbin to make sure that there is no toxicity and pollution in the atmosphere and the environment. 

If there is no biodegradability, then it will be literally impossible to manage the huge amount of waste that is generated. 

Biodegradability is carried out by various microbes such as bacteria, algae, fungi, and even protozoa. 

Based on biodegradability, waste can be classified into two categories. These include biodegradable waste and non-biodegradable waste. 

What are the examples of non-biodegradable waste? (9 examples of non-biodegradable waste) 

As stated in the previous section, waste can be segregated into two categories on the concept of biodegradability. This can be a biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste. 

Examples of biodegradable waste include plants, animals, manure, sewage, plant-based products et cetera. 

Our topic of interest is non-biodegradable waste. This type of waste is mostly from synthetic sources rather than natural sources. 

A very common example of non-biodegradable waste may be synthetic plastics. Other examples may include:

  • Dyneema
  • PVC
  • PET
  • LDPE
  • Nylon
  • Synthetic resins
  • Nuclear waste
  • Electronic waste 
  • Hazardous waste 

These are some of the examples of non-biodegradable waste that are usually found. Since this type of waste is non-biodegradable, it may take hundreds of years to degrade which is a very important environmental concern. 

Why is it important to get rid of non-biodegradable waste?

It is a matter of piqued curiosity that why is it important to get rid of non-biodegradable waste. In other words, what would happen if non-biodegradable waste is not processed and managed accordingly?

There are a number of impacts known that are linked to the existence of non-biodegradable waste. The first impact is that non-biodegradable waste may resist for hundreds of years and therefore may create a lot of negative impacts and obstructions for waste management authorities. 

Non-biodegradable waste may remain in landfills for as long as a thousand years. It leads to the decapacitation of landfills and waste management authorities because there is very limited space available to dispose of waste. 

Another blunt impact of non-biodegradable waste on the environment is the pollution caused by non-biodegradable waste. Most of the non-biodegradable waste is made from non-natural sources. 

This means that the production of non-biodegradable waste is done at the expense of the environment because there is a massive release of greenhouse gases. 

These gases are responsible for increasing the earth’s temperature and thus leading to many environmental anomalies like global warming and unprecedented weather change. 

Non-biodegradable waste also has a lot of negative impacts on life on land and in water. Most of the non-biodegradable waste is broken down into smaller particles which may be engulfed by animals leading to choking and death. 

These small particles, also referred to as microplastics, may also infiltrate into the food chains and may end up in our kitchen and water bottles. 

There are a plethora of negative impacts of non-biodegradable waste on human health as well. Some of them may include: 

  • Skin irritation
  • Eye allergies
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Hormone disruptions
  • General discomfort 
  • Psychological impacts
  • Developmental issues
  • Damage to the foetus
  • Neuro Complications

What are some other ways to get rid of non-biodegradable waste?

Other than recycling, there are also a number of other alternatives that can be adopted to deal with the issue of non-biodegradable waste. 

The primary reason behind this is that not all materials can be recycled. Some materials like sharp objects, broken objects, styrofoam, rags, and plastic grocery bags can not be recycled. 

Therefore, there are other alternatives available which may include:

  • Landfill
  • Incineration
  • Composting 
  • Waste Compaction
  • Vermicomposting 

Conclusion

It is concluded that one of the best solutions to get rid of non-biodegradable waste is recycling because it leads to less waste generation by reusing the waste. 

It also leads to decreased negative impacts which otherwise may be caused by non-biodegradable waste. 

Non-biodegradable waste is known to cause a lot of harm to the environment and human health. Examples may include global warming, pollution, cancer, and neurological complications. 

Other methods to deal with non-biodegradable waste may include incineration, landfill, composting, and vermicomposting. 

Frequently Asked Questions: What is one of the best solutions to get rid of non-biodegradable waste?

How long would it take to degrade non-biodegradable waste?

It is a matter of the type of waste and external conditions. Non-biodegradable waste may take from 200 years to 1000 years to degrade. 

Can non-biodegradable waste be composted?

It may not be a good idea because for compost organic and natural material is preferred which is least likely to be toxic. 

References 

  • Bulkeley, H., & Askins, K. (2009). Waste interfaces: biodegradable waste, municipal policy and everyday practice. Geographical Journal, 175(4), 251-260.
  • Sonesson, U., Björklund, A., Carlsson, M., & Dalemo, M. (2000). Environmental and economic analysis of management systems for biodegradable waste. Resources, conservation and recycling, 28(1-2), 29-53.
  • Hopewell, J., Dvorak, R., & Kosior, E. (2009). Plastics recycling: challenges and opportunities. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 364(1526), 2115-2126.
  • Hopewell, J., Dvorak, R., & Kosior, E. (2009). Plastics recycling: challenges and opportunities. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 364(1526), 2115-2126.
  • Demirbas, A. (2011). Waste management, waste resource facilities and waste conversion processes. Energy Conversion and Management, 52(2), 1280-1287.
  • Bharadwaj, A., Yadav, D., & Varshney, S. (2015). Non-biodegradable waste–its impact & safe disposal. Int. J. Adv. Technol. Eng. Sci, 3(1).

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