One of the useful properties of polymers is that they are unreactive. This means they are suitable for storing food and other substances safely. Unfortunately, this property makes it difficult to dispose of polymers.
Suitable places for landfill sites are difficult to find. Space in landfill sites is wasted if it is filled with non-biodegradable polymers.
Describe what 'biodegradable' means.
If something is biodegradable, it can be broken down or decomposed by microorganisms.
There are problems with incineration:
The use of landfill and incineration wastes valuable resources. Crude oil is the raw material for making most polymers, and it is a finite resource. Recycling reduces the problems of disposal, and also reduces the volume of crude oil used.
However, different polymers must be separated from each other first. This can be difficult and expensive to do.