Waste is a natural by-product of the phenomena of life and growth of society. It is viewed as unwanted or unusable material that has been disposed or discarded after primary use. In the absence of proper mechanisms for disposal and management, waste is often viewed as a menace . Effective management of waste is now a national priority as seen through the Swachch Bharat Mission. Waste management is strongly linked with sustainable development and it is recognized that we can’t afford to lose it as mere ‘waste’. Instead, it is important to view ‘waste’ as a valuable ‘resource’ that can be converted into a variety of useful product. This process of conversation of waste to a product that can be put to primary use can be viewed as a process of generating wealth. Hence, the phrase ‘WASTE TO WEALTH’.
*Various technologies and initiatives are used in for management of plastic waste:
1. In Vengurla municipality, waste is segregated by household. Wet waste is used to generate biogas, producing 30 units of electricity per tonne.
2. Plastic shredding machines by using biogas crushes upto 180 kilogram of light plastic everyday. This waste plastic has been a boon for road building. When used with bitumen, shredded plastic is effective in helping build sturdier roads. This plastic binds together the bitumen better,ensuring roads are withstand more wear and tear. These roads offer greater resistance to inclement weather and reduce costs. A one kilometer stretch of road can use upto one tonne of plastic and save INR 10,000 per stretch. This kind of roads can be seen in India as well.
3. In Ghana city, an industry is making rectangular bricks from plastic and sand. These bricks are 60% cheaper than the normal cemented one’s and are more durable and stronger. They can be used for multiple purpse such as making house etc.
As the country steps up efforts to clean India initiatives, countries such as Vengurla, Ghana, Nigeria, etc are demonstrating that a combination of awareness and innovation can go a long way in transforming waste to wealth.