- Plastic waste is a non -biodegradable in nature persist in to the environment for hundred or even thousands of years.
- Plastic pollution is caused by accumulation of plastic waste in environment.
- It can be categorized in to:-
- Primary plastics: such as cigarette butts and bottle caps.
- Secondary plastics :resulting from degradation of primary ones.
♦Types of plastic waste microplastics:
- microplastics- small plastic pieces of less than five millimeters in size
- Microplastics includes microbeds, used in cosmetics and personal care products, industrial scrubbers.
- single use plastics-plastics-it is a disposable material that can be used only once before it either thrown away or recycled like a plastic bags, water bottles, soda bottles, plastic plates, cups etc.
♦Extent of plastic waste
- Plastic has accumulated in landfills, dumps, or natural environment.
- Plastic waste whether in river, an ocean or on land can persist in seas and oceans across the world will weigh more than fish
♦Impact of plastic waste
- Economic losses: plastic waste along shoreline has negative impact on tourism revenue.
- Implications for animals: plastic waste have profoundly affected animals in aquatic, marine, and terrestrial ecosystems.
- Implications for human health: chemicals present in plastics can interfere with functioning of endocrine system and thyroid hormones.
- Land pollution: plastics leach hazardous chemicals on land, resulting in destruction and decline in quality of earth’s land surface in term of use, landscape and ability to support life forms.
- Air pollution: plastic burning releases poisonous chemicals in to atmosphere impacting general well being and causing respiratory disorders in living beings.
- water pollution: many lakes and oceans have reported alarming cares of platic debris floating on water surface affect great number of aquatic creatures.
- Poor drainage: drainage system clogged with plastic bags, films, and other plastic items, causes flooding.
- Impact on habitats: seafloor plastic waste sheets could act like a blanket, inhibiting gas exchange and leading to anoxia or hypoxia.
♦solution: plastic waste management
- Reduce –first step is to minimize single use plastics by supporting tax on plastic bags and using alternatives of plastic or biodegradable plastics.
- Reuse- Reusing plastics can reduce demand for new plastics, hence it can act as natural restrain on plastic manufacturing.
- Recycle- plastic recycling is process of recovering waste or scrap plastic and reprocessing it in to useful products. – It offers several benefits like •economic benefits due to value addition. • Generates employment •Reduces depletion of fossil fuel resources. •Reduces landfill problems. •Reduces of plastics require less energy.
- Raising awareness amongst the public of harm caused by plastic pollution through education and outreach programs to modify behavior.
- promote Alternatives : before the ban or levy comes in to force, the availability of alternatives need to be assesed.
- Use of mincrobeads in personal care products and cosmetics must be prohibited.
- Identify and engange key stake holders groups like retailers, consumers,Industry representatives, manufacturers etc.
- Enforce plastic waste management measures effectively by making sure that there is clear allocation of roles and responsibilities.