Class 10 Biology Our Environment Biodegradable and non-biodegradable substances

Biodegradable and non-biodegradable substances

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

Non-biodegradable substances

  • 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.

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