FROM WASTE TO WEALTH
Plastic : Plastic is a type of synthetic or man made polymer .Alexander Parkes unveiled the first man-made plastic at 1862 Great International Exhibition in London . Plastic is a polymeric material that has the capability of being molded or shaped .This property of plasticity ,often found in combination with low density , low electrical conductivity , transparency and toughness.
Plastic boom started after the second world war. it is ubiquitous and used in carry bags ,bottles, other packaging ,toys, cellphones ,refrigerators, automobile, pipes.
construction materials ,microfiber ,etc. By estimate industry has made 9.1 billon tones of plastic since 1950. Nearly 7 billion tones are no longer in used. Even when sheered into smaller pieces ,they last for thousand of year. Plastic are made from polypropylene and polyethylene ,toxic chemicals can seep into land and water.
About 15,342 tones of plastic waste are generated in India. Everyday, of which 6,137 tones remain uncollected and littered.9205 tones are recycled. Lack of awareness and absence of effective tools to collect back the discarded plastic product including the wrapping materials has led to the indiscriminate littering and disposal of plastic waste. It not only spoil the aesthetics of living spaces, but become a source of pollution and poses a major hazard to health and life of all organisms. Effective management of waste is now a national priority as seen through the “Swachh Bharat Mission”. This mission seeks to sensitize every citizen, especially the young and make them a partner in creating a clean nation. In fact since times immemorial ,all societies and culture have looked for effective management of waste and often, to put it to good use. Used and discarded materials are transformed to beautiful artifacts. Leftover food commonly form the base for fresh dishes. Instead, it is important to view ‘waste’ as valuable ‘resource’ that can be converted into a variety of useful products. Waste management that lead to generations of substance and products that can be put to primary use is an emerging major sector for employment to meet the livelihood needs of the vast majority of India’s rapidly growing population.
Methods to recycle the plastic waste into wealth .
⦁Consider a community of 2 lakh populations.
Average waste produce is 60 tones per day with 60% wet waste i.e.36 tones .If all of wet waste is
composed directly or after producing methane gas, it reduces 1/4 of its weight .Hence it will produce
9 tones of compost per day and 270 tones per month. If the compost is sold at Rs. 4/Kg it will yield
Rs. 10,80,000 per month . Then one can earns 1,29,60,000 annually .One can also utilize the dry
waste by selling or by converting into useful product by making artifacts or any other decorative
items and reusing waste for many other purpose can reduce the burden on the environment and by
taking step to clean world and side by its maintain the economy of the country.
⦁ One can take non-recyclable waste technology for municipal waste to produced clean toxic fumes
before these are released into the environment. All as a resource to make energy . As an example
,base liner system are installed in landfills to prevent escape of leachate from waste into the
environment . Installation of the leachate tank and methane extraction pipe allows these to be
harvested as source of energy. Municipal solid waste Incinerators transforms waste into solid ash
that can be recycled for various applications. Energy is extracted from the hot gasses/fumes
produced by generating steam in a boiler. This used to turn a turbine to produce electricity.
Development of fuel gas scrubbing this contribute to resource efficiency and wealth generation
through a circular economy.
⦁ Another method one can shred the waste into small pieces and fed on a conveyor into gasification
vessels process waste heat from latter plasma arc conversion phase is used to gasify waste. Gas is
fed into a plasma arc conversion vessel ,where a plasma torch breaks the gas stream down at an
elemental level ,converting it to an energy rich synthesis gas . Fly ash is liquefied in a separate
plasma vessel called vitrification process and is cool into a glass like solid called slag. Synthesis gas
is purified to separate toxic constituent .This purified gas is used to fuel reciprocating engine
generator set. Excess process heat from the reciprocating engine and plasma arc vessels power a
steam turbine to generate additional electricity.
⦁ Since time we came across the fact that plastic is causing a huge harm to the environment . We are
continuously focusing on to reduced the use of plastic by people by implementing many ways to
reduce pollution . Do you know the major part of pollution is done by the plastic bag or plastic
wrappers and . Because plastic is cheaper and no one care of using the same plastic for more than
one time .So, my suggestion is that by making the plastic more “COSTLIER” in term of hundred or
thousand rupees ,so that a large number of populations automatically step back for plastic use as
they cant afford it which can contribute for less utilization of plastic.
⦁ Enzyme Innovation: Now a team at Kyoto university has, by rummaging around in piles of waste
found a plastic munching microbe . After five years of searching, they isolated a bacteria that could
live on Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), a common plastic used in bottles and clothing. They
named the new species of bacteria Ideonella sakaiensis . This bacteria offer a way to truly recycle
⦁ Conversion of waste plastic into liquid hydrocarbons/Energy.
Prof. Alka Zadgaonkar and Dr. Umesh Zadgaonkar invented the process to convert waste plastic
into useful product like furnace oil and LPG. The process is based on principal of random
depolymerization and involves selective breaking of the C-C bond. Both plastics and petroleum
derived fuels are hydrocarbons . Plastics molecules have longer carbon chain than those in LPG,
petrol and diesel fuel. The process is a thermal selective splitting reaction of the large molecular
weight polymer carbon chain under an oxygen free environment and produce small molecular
weight molecules. This provide solution to waste plastic problem, which can change global
economic scenarios by saving millions of rupees in importing of crude oil and the Sulphur content
in fuel generated is less than 0.002 ppm and also no emission in atmosphere.
Conclusion: Plastic is there on earth environment since 70years .Every stage in the life cycle of product-from its initial creation to final disposal can create waste and environmental residual . The 5Rs principal (Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle ,Recover ) offers a sustainable environmental friendly alternative to deal with pollution. We need to change our mindset and educate people for this problem to go away . If we look at “Waste” as “Resources” at every stage of life cycle . This defines waste hierarchy as a set of priorities for the efficient use of resources and underpins the objective of waste management and wealth generation.