PLASTIC WASTE TO HEALTH
Prem rawal a 42 years old resident of Ahmedabad , went out for a morning walk , she saw a group of people standing around a group of people standing around a machine , near kankaria lake , after strolling for few minutes , and by enquiring , she realised that it is a plastic bottle recycling machine which pays you in exchange of a plastic bottle . Prem rawal , who was not much intrested in giving up the use of plastic , especially plastic bottles , got a reason to do that courtesy Gujarat government on June 5 , the world environment day , the state government decided to install “ Reverse vending machines ‘ and incentivise people who help the government recycle single – use plastic bottles .
Under “ Paravan Jalavihar yojana “ the Gujarat government has decided to instal “Reverse vending machines “ which gives 1 rupee every time an individual drops a plastic bottle into the machine through this intiative , the Gujarat government aims to beat plastic pollution and contribute for a cleaner and greener environment
So if we go by the definition of plastic waste , it is a Non Bio – degradable nature persists into the environment , for hundreds ( or even Thousands ) of years . a recent study done by un – plastic collective has revealed that India generates 9.46 million tones of plastic waste annually of which are single use plastic , by this we go by different types of plastic waste .
• Microplastics are small plastic piece of less than five Millimeters in size
• Single use plastics i.e used only once Eg; – plastic bags , water bottles , plastic etc ….
India announced to eliminate single use of plastic by 2022 at confederation of Indian industries sustainability summit in new Delhi.
Therefore we look into the impact of plastic waste in the daily life and environment
WE MADE PLASTIC , WE DEPEND ON IT , WE ARE DROWNING IN IT .
• Economic losses ;-
Plastic waste in a short time has a negative impact on tourism revenue for example , the Andaman and Nicobar islands , are under the plastic threat and facing the aesthetic issue because of the dumping of international plastic waste.
• Implications for animals :-
Plastic wastes have profoundly affected in aquatic , marine and terrestrial ecosystems .
• Marine animals get trapped in plastic waste leads to death
Implications of Human Health :-
The chemicals leached from the plastics contain compounds like Polybrominated – diphenyl ether (anti – androgens ) impact human health leading to various hormonal and genetic disorders .
These chemicals can interfere with functioning of endocrine system and thyroid
Hormones and can be very destructive to women reproductive age and young children .
Land pollution ;-
Plastic results in destruction and decline in equality of earth &ability to support life farms .
*scientists estimate it takes a time of 450 – 1,000 years to decompose
Air pollution :-
IT takes important role in impacting air quality but releasing poisonous chemicals into atmosphere and causing respiratory problems in living beings
Ground water & water pollution :-
Many lakes , rivers & oceans have reported alarming cases of plastic debris floating on water surfaces affecting aquatic creatures and chemicals present in them seep underground when it rains . the leaching chemicals and toxic elements infiltrate into aquifers and indirectly affecting ground water quality .
The above shows the negative side of a plastic usage and if we reduce it to the minimum or searching for other alternatives should create a some sort of solution
Minimize single use plastics by supporting a tax on plastic bags , restraint on manufacturing of plastics .
For example project REPLAN ( Reducing plastic in nature ) launched by khadi and village industries commission ( KVIC ) aims to reduce consumption by providing sustainable alternative
It will reduce the demand for new plastics , hence it can act as natural restrain in manufacturing
Recovering waste or scarp plastic and reprocessing it into useful products , Even it offers several benefits like –
• Economic benefits due to value addition.
• Generates employment .
• Reduces depletion of fuel reserves .
• Recycling of plastic requires less energy .
Converting non – recyclable plastics into a range of useful forms of energy and chemicals for industry since plastics contain mainly carbon and hydrogen with similar energy content to conventional fuels such as diesel , they can be used as a potential source of fuel.
We still had a lot to discourage the use of plastics even we can control this into wealth , or even we make cost – effective in some sectors or in some areas so , If we goby there we have a plenty ways .
The idea of using waste plastics in road construction relatively now laboratory tests have shown positive results when a small amount ( 5 – 10 % by weight ) of plastic is incorporated Inbituminious mixes ( asphalt ) resulting in improved pavement stability , strength and durability .
Then revolution of plastic waste roads started in 2015 when center made mandatory for all road developer’s in the country to use plastic waste for road construction after Padma sri Rajagopalan Vasudaran , a professor from Madurai’s Thiagarajar college of engineering laid out a process of building roads by recycling plastic waste , this Initiative falls in line with governments “ Swachh Bharat Abhiyan “ that aims to address India’s garbage crisis .
Gasification involves healing the waste plastic with steam to produce a valuable industrial gas mixtures called “ synthesis gas “ or “ Syngas “ . This can be used to produce diesel and petrol or burned directly in boilers to generate electricity Pyrolysis , plastic waste is heated in the absence of oxygen , which produces mixture of oil similar to crude oil , this can be further refined into transportation fuels .
A Hyderabadi mechanical engineer made petrol out of used plastic the process helps recycle plastic into diesel , aviation fuel . About 500 kg of non – recyclable plastic turned as 400 liters of fuel .
• poly – bricks an alternative to the normal bricks which is primarily the plastic bottles which is primarily the plastic bottles infused with all kinds of compressed discarded plastic . A 2 liters bottle can store Upto 500 grams of waste and is as brick .
so from the above it is clear that even from the worse we can create a multipurpose useful Opportunity’s in favour of environment , it is cost – effective which generate wealth and reduces the involvement of raw materials in a product from this we can conclude this as
Way Forward : –
Raising of awareness and impact of plastic to use in a wealth creating opportunity like substituting it with others opportunity like substituting it with others like packaging inspired by nature , using in the vertical gardening , packaging from food waste & plastic is made from wood , compostable catings and the circular economy transition , these innovations helps the environment but also makes the money out of it .
“ These winning innovations show what’s possible when the principles of a circular economy are embraced “ said Ellen Mac Arthur plastic is a necessary & processes such as these are necessary to combat the challenge of existing plastic waste must not undermine the fact that there is a need to focus on developing effective alternatives which can help in reducing the use of plastic products .
Technical and financial incentives from government is required for existing production system into a sustainable one .
Submitted by Tekuri Venkata Girish kumar