Non biodegradable waste is waste that cannot be broken down naturally either by air, climate, moisture or soil. This kind of waste cannot be naturally dissolved into the land. Some of the most common non biodegradable products are plastic bags and bottles, tin cans and even computer hardware. As we become more technologically advanced, we produce materials that can withstand extreme temperatures, are durable and easy to use. Plastic bags, synthetics, plastic bottles, tin cans, and computer hardware- these are some of the things that make life easy for us.
But what we forget is that these advanced products do not break down naturally. When we dispose them in a garbage pile, the air, moisture, climate, or soil cannot break them down naturally to be dissolved with the surrounding land. They are not biodegradable. However natural waste and products made from nature break down easily when they are disposed as waste. One of the most common household wastes is polythene- mostly used as polythene bags for shopping and carrying light things.
Since they are cheap, they are used by almost everyone- from the local vegetable seller to the supermarket bread shelf. Soil is getting polluted by pesticides, factory wastes, the reclamation of poisonous industrial and household wastes, and the careless abandonment of non-biodegradable garbage. Some of those wastes remain under the ground for 500 years, which pollutes the environment. Recently, the wastes that are not rotten easily, such as bottles, cans, plastics, vinyl, Styrofoam, and aluminium, are increasing so how to treat them is a worry.
Incinerating the rotten wastes is a treatment way, but it can pollute the air or can generate the substances that have bad influence on organisms. And it causes other environmental problems. Therefore, the quantity of wastes generated should be reduced as far as possible and recyclable wastes should be recycled. What Are the Effects of Non-Biodegradable Waste? Organic products made from plants or animals leave behind biodegradable waste that breaks down over time. Non-biodegradable waste is material that will not be decomposed by natural processes.
Non-biodegradable waste products have long-lasting effects on landfills, where toxic pollutants often contaminate ground water. Non-biodegradable plastics can also lead to out-gassing. The time required to break down biodegradable products varies immensely. According to the Coral Reef Alliance, banana peels usually degrade in about two months. Other light materials, such as notebook papers, typically take three months. Cardboard milk cartons break down after five years. Harder substances, including steel and aluminum, typically take much longer.
An aluminum soda can takes up to 350 years to break down. On the other hand, non-biodegradable waste products never decompose, under normal circumstances. Polystyrene (Styrofoam) cups, glass bottles and car tires are resistant to sunlight, air, soil and microorganisms. Because of this, they do not biodegrade. Groundwater Contamination Long-term exposure to the environment can cause petroleum-based plastics to emit toxic pollutants. Biphenyl A is a chemical used in the production of water bottles and other hard plastics. Low doses of this pollutant have been detected in groundwater sources.
According to a 2007 study by the Environmental Working Group, “Exposure to Biphenyl A is widespread in the United States, and it has been linked to a number of adverse health effects in animal studies, including breast and prostate cancers, impaired fertility and insulin resistance. ” Out-gassing When slow degrading plastics endure high temperatures, they begin to melt and emit dangerous gases into the atmosphere through a process known as out-gassing. Petroleum-based plastics release harmful carbon emissions when burned or melted. Carbon dioxide is the Earth’s second leading greenhouse gas.
High Costs of Polystyrene Management Polystyrene is non-biodegradable foam that is used to package several different kinds of foods. This foam constitutes a large percentage of litter in developed nations, burdening landfills and municipal waste stations. The lightweight nature and buoyancy of polystyrene creates difficult management issues. For example, polystyrene can easily float through storm drains and gutters and wind up in the ocean. Plastic from waste runoff is the largest source of marine debris in the world, according to the U. S. Occupational and Health Administration. Trash and pollution in the world’s oceans can negatively affect tourism and sea-dependent economies. Polystyrene can also harm marine wildlife. When foam enters the ocean, it has a tendency to break down into smaller, non-biodegradable pieces. Small fish and birds accidentally ingest these pieces, endangering their overall well being. In a study posted by Californians Against Waste, 162 marine species off the coast of California were found to have ingested polystyrene plastic or other harmful, non-biodegradable waste.
The modes of disposal of non biodegradable wastes may be * Landfill – Landfills are established on abandoned or unused lands where wastes are disposed and buried into the soil. * Incineration – Some wastes like medical or toxic wastes that are not safe to dispose are burned in high temperature into incinerators. Incinerators transform the waste into ashes. * Recycling – The wastes that are safe enough are treated and some value materials are extracted for reuse are called recycling.