There is much truth in the saying that “Too much of anything is good for nothing”
Plastics:which were invented roughly 100 years ago,came as a boon for the human world. Plastics fulfil our various needs and it is also the solution for several problems. Since it’s invention about 8.3 billion metric tons of plastics has been produced. But soon, it turned from a boon to curse and unfortunately, the actual trouble today is that plastic wastes are hard to recycle and takes many years to degrade, and it is affecting our lives negatively. Reducing plastic consumption and raising awareness about plastic recycling and creating wealth out of it is crucial, if the world has to overcome the problem of plastic waste and pollution on the planet.
But thankfully, there also exists numerous ways in which plastic wastes can be converted to useful and revolutionary products.
For instance, when plastic bottles are recycled, they can be made into lots of things: t-shirts, sweaters, shoes etc.
And ultimately, the consumers are the ones who can give rise to this positive change in the world, which will change the outlook of our world exceptionally. The idea of 4R,(i.e., Refuse, Reduce,Reuse and Recycle) is necessary in this regard.
And by doing this, the world can relish multiple benefits.
The growing world population and urbanisation demands more use of plastics, as these are inexpensive,yet durable, also versatile and that is why large quantity of plastic wastes is generated.
Plastic waste, in simple words, means the accumulation of plastic objects in the Earth’s environment that adversely affects wildlife, wildlife habitat, and human world.
Plastic are commonly used because it is cheap, readily available, and its use is widespread and it enables sustainable, long- lasting design and construction in homes,buildings and various infrastructure s.Plastic packaging helps protect and preserve goods, human beings rely on plastic made electronics in their daily lives, plastics also helps make sports safety gear and much of the things that humans use and rely on are made up of bbn plastics.
However, the major challenge is that, it takes over 400 years or more to decompose due to its chemical structure and people have disposal mentality when it comes to plastics, due to these reasons, the world and all the countries and people living in it are facing several problems.
To illustrate further, careless disposals of plastic wastes chokes drains, causes problems for groundwater recharge, disturbs the soil microbial activity and is also leading to climate change and major global problems. Plastics is killing more than 1.1 million seabirds and animals every year.
Specific to India, approximately 60-80% of plastic waste generated is collected and segregated for recycling. However, 20-40% remains strewn on the ground, littered around in open drains. It is time for this nation to wake up and start taking waste management seriously.
“Where there is a will, there is a way”
The citizens of the world are the ones who can work for plastic waste management and on creating wealth out of waste, and it benefits them only.
The world and the living beings in it are experiencing some serious problems, due to excessive plastic wastes. Reduction in the use of plastics and management of plastic wastes have become an indispensable element in the world, in order to improve the existing lifestyle of the people.
Currently, China produces the largest amount of plastic waste by a significant margin, followed by Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Sri Lanka, which all make up the top five.
Reduction in plastic consumption leads to various benefits including:
•Prevention of pollution by lessening the amount of new raw materials used,
•Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
•Saving money,since reusable items work out cheaper than constantly purchasing more plastics and a lot more.
For these reasons, plastic waste management must be taken seriously. The government and the people of every country of the world should take this into consideration. Creating wealth out of waste is a significant step taken and all the people ahould contribute in this.There are various methods in which plastic waste can be converted into wealth.
Now, an essential question arises, “How can plastic waste be converted into wealth?”
The answer to which is numerous. Initiatives and startups have been set in order to convert plastic waste into useful materials, some examples are:
•Building houses from plastic bottles in
•Creating solar light bulbs from bottles in
Plastic waste can be used to make different products, both for engineering and non engineering applications. It can be used for energy generation,it can also be reused for the same application after processing.
Roads can be constructed out of waste plastic. It is popularly known as Plastic roads, which are found to perform better compared to those constructed with conventional bitumen.
Some advantages of using plastic in making roads include;
•Value addition to the waste plastics [cost
per kilogram increased from Rs 4 to Rs 12]
•For 1km×3.75m road, 1 ton of plastic [10
lakh carry bags] is used, and 1 ton of
bitumen is saved ,etc.
•The use of waste plastics on the roads has
helped to provide the better place for
burying the plastic waste without causing
But, inspite of the above facts, it is of paramount importance that the people should be made well-aware of plastic waste management and the 4R formula.
Plastic waste management includes setting up infrastructure for segregation, collection, processing, and disposal of plastic waste.
The 4R idea is essential ,
i.e.,☆Refuse; what is not needed (single use plastics),
☆ Reduce; what is needed ,
☆Reuse; what is consumed,
☆Recycle; what cannot be refused,reduced, or recycled, and rot (compost) the rest.
There are some wasy switches, which people can make in their daily lives, in order to reduce plastic consumption.
•Carrying metal bottles, to avoid
purchasing more plastic bottles,
•By using reusable bags for shopping, such
as, canvas tote bags replacing plastic bags.
•Opting for products that use less
packaging and much more.
It is therefore, necessary for each one of us to come together and work on reducing use of plastics and also on creating wealth out of waste.
In the era of globalization, it is indeed a reality that,plastics are crucial in our daily lives, it has made our life a lot easier and humans are mainly dependent on plastics and it has become an unavoidable part of human life in the past three decades or so.
Over the past 50 years, world plastic production has doubled.
However, it comes with its negative impacts and it has now turned into a problem.
To summarize, plastics has been helpful in humans’ lives in many ways, but due to some of its negative properties, it has become a major problem for the world and has turned out as a burden.
And now, the way forward is to convert waste into wealth,or reduce the waste (the 4R idea). This may sound difficult and it is indeed, to some extent, but it is not impossible. By working together on this challenge, the people can make a world which is better than the existing one, a world which looks beautiful, free from waste, clean and neat, where all people come together and convert every piece of waste into wealth. A healthy, prosperous, and abundant world.
“It is not how much wealth one makes, but how much wealth he keeps, how hard it works for him, and how many generations he keeps it for.”