Biodegradable and Non-Biodegradable Things

Biodegradable waste is waste that can break down by biological processes into natural components and be recycled naturally by the action of bacteria or other saprophytes. Examples are old vegetables / food, paper, cardboard, deceased animals, and Phyto plastics (special plastics that break down when exposed to the sun after some time) etc.


Non-Biodegradable waste is waste that does not break down into natural components and exists in the environment for a long time or may harm the various members of the eco- system.. Examples would be tyres, plastics, electronic components, metals etc.

Below is a simple school/College activity to know about Biodegradable and Non-biodegradable things.

Materials Required: Two pots, Little amount of Soil, Plastic pieces, Polythene, aluminium foils,  Canes, Plants and Waste Papers

Steps followed:

  1. Take two pots and label them as Biodegradable and Non-biodegradable.
  2. Fill both pots to the half with soil.
  3. Now, keep the Plastic, Polythene and aluminium foils in non Biodegradable pot.
  4. Keep Plant and  Waste Papers in Biodegradable pot.
  5. Record changes occur in these pots at least for one week.
  6. Take images showing  the top view of both pots and observe.

Ideal Observations:

  1. You will not see any changes in the Non- biodegradable pot.
  2. Bio degradable substances break down naturally.