Plastics are consider to be the warranting contribution in the production of waste. It goes without saying that plastic waste are one of the most important issue facing us today.
Firstly we would be seeking the veracious meaning of waste. Anything which are unusable or disposable by an individual or a group is consider to be waste. Sometimes an object may be consider as waste by a particular person but it may be usable by other. As for example leftover food is generally meant as household waste but it is valuable for poorer section of our society. Contrary to this we will be considering waste which are in general for the majority. Talking more specifically, plastic waste are major concern of the time.
As per Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) reports plastic contributes to 8 percent of the total solid waste, with Delhi producing the maximum quantity followed by Kolkata and Ahmedabad. Management of plastic waste intelligently into wealth is a need of the hour principally for the developing countries like India.
Before we move further, we should have a fair idea of plastics, its manufacturing, types and its effects on human kind.
Plastics are generally considered as non- biodegradable because most plastics are obtained from propylene, a simple chemical component of petroleum. When heated in the presence of a catalyst, individual chemical units monomers of propylene link together by forming extremely strong carbon carbon bonds with each other. This results in polymers long chain of monomer called polypropylene.
The biodegrading microbes are not capable of decomposing long carbon-carbon bond in polypropylene.
According to the manufacturing and use of the plastics, it is of seven kind.
1. Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET or PETE) – It is most likely to be picked by recycling programs. This type of plastics contain antimony trioxide, a matter that is considered as a carcinogen-capable of causing cancer in a living tissue.
2. High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) – It is recyclable and relatively more stable than PET. It has long virtually unbranched polymer chain which makes them really dense and thus, stronger and thicker from PET.
3. Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) – It is considered as the most hazardous plastics. It may leach several toxic chemicals which can cause cancer and allergic symptoms. PVC is also rarely accepted by recycling programs.
4. Low- Density Polyethylene (LDPE) – It is the simplest plastic polymer chemical structure, making it very easy and very cheap to process. LDPE is considered as a safer option for food and drink use. Unfortunately, this type of plastic is quite difficult to recyle.
5. Polypropylene (PP) – Its strength quality is somewhere between LDPE and HDPE. PP isn’t quite recyclable and could also cause various human disease.
6. Polystyrene (PS) – It has low recycling rate and when exposed to heat it may affect lungs, genes and immune system.
7. Other(O) – It is a generally mixed plastics other than those mention above
It is dangerous to human health due to its varsity of material used in making process. It has very low recycle rate quality.
From above brief discussion of the types of plastic we come to know that most of yhe plastics are not recyclable. This type of plastics are our major concern that produces most of our solid waste and cause effects on natural environment.
We would now bring some major effects that cause on nature by the hazardous plastics and plastic products.
1. Effect on agricultural land – India is known for its agriculture. According to the world Bank Collection of Development indicators, compiled from officially recognized sources, agricultural land in India was reported at 60.45 percent in 2016. Soil mixed with small plastic pieces like that of toffee wrappers, polybags and toy’s parts are making it vulnerable for crop production.
2. Effects on water bodies – Plastics from household chores are being washed out to big water bodies like rivers and seas. These plastics waste deplete the oxygen level in water resulting in extinction of marine species.
3. Effects on air quality – Due to ignorant, some people burn the household waste including plastics causing poisonous gas that mixes in air and damage the quality of air. According to a study named “Toxic Pollutants from plastics waste- A review”, About 12 percent of most municipal solid waste is made up of plastic of one kind or another, and 40 percent of the world’s garbage is burned.
After knowing the level of waste produced by plastics, we should strategically find ways to convert these waste into wealth. Management of plastics waste have been alarming challenge not only for common people but also for government. The basic management used by us are 3R ( Reduce, Reuse, Recycle ).
The most important factor for solid waste management is recycle. Recycling of plastics waste not only help in management of waste but also it gives a good opportunity to generate wealth. Many companies are now in the business of recycling. Now people see plastic waste as an advantage to generate fund for the start up. Recycling provides livelihood in developing countries like India for millions of people and families, ranging from white collar employment to casual economic activities. Recycling plastic waste products is the most resourceful approach to managing solid waste, and it could also be perceived as a recent illustration for actualizing the concept of industrial ecology. Investors in plastic waste recycling should keep in mind one thing that thoroughly research of comprising all the factors that may directly or indirectly influence the business is must. A country is very much benefitted with the recycling of plastic waste like, it helps in generation of jobs, less stress on production of plastic articles, cleaner environment etc. Those plastics waste which are not easily recycle are use to convert it into wealth by using it in construction of rural roads through new technologies like cold mix and materials which have been developed and patented by Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), waste plastic and fly ash. Several kilometers of rural roads have been made through this technology. Presently around 15 percent of the total rural roads use these new technologies.
Other way in this process of generation of economy is to ensure that if these plastics can not be recycled they are either processedby waste to energy or by co-processing them in cement kilnsas alternate fuel.
To summarise this, we have looked into the genration of plastics, its kind, types of waste and various technique to tackle this waste. But our main focus was to convert these waste into wealth. We have observe various ways in which this waste to wealth conversion could be done. We want plastic waste to convert it from curse to boon.