Biodegradable and non-biodegradable substances
- The waste materials released from our daily activities are thrown in the environment.
- Some substances are broken down by biological processes are said to be biodegradable substances. Example – organic matter of plants and animals.
Fig. A biodegradable substance
- Some substances are not broken down by the bacteria or saprophytes are called non-biodegradable substances. Example- plastics.
Fig. A non-biodegradable substance
- Enzymes which are used in the degradation of the substances are specific in their action and specific enzymes are needed for the breakdown of a particular substrate and that is why all bacteria cannot decompose all kinds of waste.
- The non-biodegradable substances are acted upon by physical processes like heat and pressure.
- Non-biodegradable substances are inert.
- Under certain conditions, the non-biodegradable substances can persist for long time and can also harm the various members of ecosystem.