Meaning of BIODEGRADABILITY in English


Capacity of a material to decompose by biological action.

The term usually refers to the environmental breakdown of waste by microorganisms. Generally, plant and animal products are biodegradable, whereas mineral substances (e.g., metals, glass, plastics) are not. Local conditions, especially the presence or absence of oxygen, affect biodegradability. Disposal of nonbiodegradable waste is a primary source of pollution. Surgical materials made to be absorbed by the body are also called biodegradable.

Britannica English dictionary.      Английский словарь Британика.