Plastic, with its exclusive qualities is now a serious worldwide environmental and health concern, essentially due to its non-biodegradable nature. More than 50% of the plastic waste generated in the country is recycled and used in the manufacture of various plastic products. Dioxin is a highly carcinogenic and toxic by-product of the manufacturing process of plastics. Burning of plastics, especially PVC, releases this dioxin and also furan into the atmosphere
Plastics are so versatile in use that their impact on the environment is extremely wide ranging. Careless disposal of plastic bags chokes drains, blocks the porosity of the soil and causes problems for groundwater recharge. Plastic disturbs the soil microbial activity. Plastic bags also debauch foodstuffs due to leaching of toxic dyes and transfer of pathogens. In fact, a major potion of the plastic bags i.e. approximately 60%-80% of the plastic waste generated in India is collected and segregated for recycling. 20%-40 remains strewn on the ground, littered around in open drains.
The various sources of generation of plastics wastes include: Household such as (Carry bags, Pets bottles, Containers, Trash bottles, Blood and urine bags, Intravenous tubes, Catheters), Hotel and Catering (Packaging items, Mineral water bottles, Plastic plates, cups) Air/Rail Travel(Mineral water bottles, Plastic plates cups, spoons)
Waste is disposed off in low-lying areas without taking anything any precautions and without any operational control. The waste characteristics are expected to change due to urbanization, increased commercialization and standard of living. The present trend indicates that the paper and plastics content will increase while the organic content will decrease. The ash and earth content is also expected to decrease mainly due to an increase in the paved surface. Although, the organic content is expected to decrease, the material will still be amenable to biodegradation and the calorific value will continue to be unsuitable for incineration. Waste is often viewed as a menace. It not just spoils the aesthetics of living spaces, but becomes a source of pollution and poses a major hazard to health and life of all organisms.
‘ PLASTIC WASTE THE WORLD CHANGER’
Waste is of two types: Biodegradable & Non-biodegradable Waste.
1. Biodegradable – Biodegradable materials are composed of waste from living organisms and the actual plant, animal or other organisms when its life ends. It contains food waste like vegetable and fruit peels, dead plants and animals, egg shells, chicken, garden waste, paper materials, etc.,
2. Non-Biodegradable – Non Biodegradable waste includes materials that do not breakdown or decay naturally, that is, cannot be decomposed by microbes and abiotic elements or dissolved by natural agents or biological processes. Examples; These include glass, metal, bakes pottery, ceramics and plastic items; most forms medical waste (Biomedical waste); electronic/electrical devices(E-WASTE). Most of the inorganic waste is non biodegradable in the sense that it could take from a few weeks and years to thousands of centuries to decay.
LETS PLAY WITH WASTED P
CREATIVE SUSTAINABLE WEALTH-
Non-biodegradable waste disposal poses a major challenge to planet earth and civilization. Characteristics of various waste items determine the potential these have for wealth generation.
1. RECYCLABLE WASTE: Those non biodegradable materials which can be put to use again in the same or different form — that is, reused, refurbished, or recycled — are known as “Recyclable Waste”. Inorganic waste, such as PET and PLASTICS, waste paper and tetra packs are now increasingly recycled. Recycling waste of useful materials puts them back into circulation for consumers. These can be easily put to use. This would reduce the consumption of scarce and expensive resources. I would also reduce consumption of energy.
Government has adopted new rules that provide for ways and means to minimize plastic waste generation, adoption of extended producer responsibility for collection of waste and sustainable plastic waste management, recycling of plastic waste in road construction, energy and oil generation.
Recently, The country’s first TYRE PARK inaugurated in Kolkata. & the idea behind the park is that waste can be converted into art. NOTHING IS WASTE & CAN BE ART. The employees worked on such tyres and other scrap material for weeks and have been able to convert them into an eye- pleasing and colorful amalgamation.
2. NON-RECYCLABLE WASTE: Those non biodegradable materials which can not be put to use termed as “Non Recyclable” Traditionally these are disposed off by transporting to a distant site and dumping them in a landfill and incineration. Environmental concerns have led municipalities to develop better management of these wastes. Major initiatives have been launched to look at non recyclable waste as a resource to make energy. As an example, base liner systems are installed in landfills to prevent escape of leachate from waste into the environment. Energy is extracted from the hoot gasses/fumes produced by generating steam in a boiler. This is used to turn a turbine to produce electricity. Development of flue gas scrubbing technology for MSWI cleans the toxic fumes before these are released into the environment.
All this contributes to resource efficiency and wealth generation through what is termed as a circular economy.
The 5Rs Principle: REFUSE, REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE, RECOVER
Problems with waste are as old as the human race. Generation of waste causes a loss of materials and energy. It increases environmental costs on society for its collection, treatment and disposal-
can create waste and environmental residuals. The 5Rs Principle offers a sustainable, environment friendly alternative to deal with the enormous challenge posed by waste with its obvious impact on human health, environment and natural ecosystems. It looks at waste as a resource at every stage of life cycle.
* REFUSE: It encourages the community to avoid unnecessary consumption and make informed life style choices by selecting items that use least packaging, require the least resources to produce, can be used multiple times. It promotes buying products that ae recycled, recyclable, repairable, refillable, re-usable .
* REDUSE: It costs much less to make processes more efficient and prevent wastes from occurring than to later consumer more energy and materials to capture the wastes and then to reuse, recycle, or dispose of them.
* REUSE: It involves using resources in their existing forms without further reprocessing thereby minimizing additional labor, material, water, and energy required for recycling. For example, many household and industrial items can be repaired, re-used, sold or donated to charities, thereby keeping them in the productive economy.
* RECYCLE: It involves transforming resources into a form that can be used as an input to a new process i.e. taking a product or material at the end of its useful life and turning it into a usable raw material to make another product (e.g., recovering aluminum or plastic from drink containers, reprocessing a by-product from a chemical process, or processing wastewater for secondary use).
WASTE TO WEALTH:
Conversion of Waste Plastic into Liquid Hydrocarbons-
Dr. Umesh Zadgaonkar invented the process to convert waste plastic into useful products like furnace oil and LPG. The process is based on the principle of random depolymerisation and involves selective breaking of C-C bonda. Both plastics and petroleum derived fuels are hydrocarbons. However, the plastic molecules have longer carbon chains than those in LPG, petrol and diesel fuels. Therefore, it is possible to convert waste plastic into fuels. The process is a thermal selective splitting reaction of the large molecular weight polymer carbon chains under an oxygen free environment and produces small molecular weight molecules.
- 100% waste is converted into value added products.
- Solution to the waste plastic problem, can change global economic scenario by saving millions of dollars in import of crude oil.
- No preparatory cleaning or segregation.
- Easy transportation of bulky waste.
- Sulphur content in the fuel generated is less than 0.002 ppm
- There is no emission in the atmosphere or liquid effluents
- High quality of Liquid Distillate, matches de-sulphuised crude oil
WASTE PLASTIC –—} FEED —–} MELTING ——} CATALYSTIC REACTION —–} CONDENSATION = USEFUL HYDROCARBONS
Bio-Methanation Plant at Koyambedu Wholesale Market
The Bio-Methanation plant was established in Koyambedu Wholesale Market Complex in Chennai, Tamil Nadu as a unique national level demonstration project in order to utilize the organic waste generated from the perishables market for power generation. This project is a joint venture between Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority and the Ministry of Non conventional Energy Sources of Government of India. The plant is designed to handle about 30 Metric Tones of perishable wastes per day and will generate on an average of 2375 M of gas through ‘Bio gas Induced Mixing Arrangement’ to produce 5000 units of electricity per day. The energy production is being fed into the TNEB grid.
In India 51.4 million tones of sold waste was generated every year. Of this, 91% was collected, and 27% was treated and remaining 73% disposed of at dump sites. There is critical need for developing sustainable wealth generating models for India’s waste. The potential is immense. It is estimated that India will have a waste management market to the tune of US$ 14.62 BILLION BY 2025. With the concerted efforts of the government, increasing interest and participation of the industry, academia, not-for-profit organizations, and communities, the nascent waste management industry in the country is poised for a major turnaround.
The emphasis has to be on 100% collection and scientific processing disposal recycling of municipal solid waste. To ensure the success of this vision, the government is focusing on providing all support to municipal bodies to come up with design, execution and operation plans for waste disposal systems. There is also an emphasis on private sector maintenance costs for waste disposal systems. There is also an emphasis on private-sector participation and public private partnership in capital expenditure and operation and maintenance costs for sanitary facilities. Industries are also increasingly cognizant about waste management, right from the point of production. Sustainable development sets the goal of redesigning the product to use non-hazardous materials.
Waste can be recovered on-site, or at an off-site recovery facility, or through inter industry exchange. A number of physical and chemical techniques are available to reclaim a waste material such as reverse osmosis, electrolysis recovery, filtration, centrifugation etc. For example, a printed-circuit board manufacturer can use electrolytic recovery to reclaim metals from copper and tin-lead plating bath. However, recycling of hazardous products has little environmental benefit if it simply moves the hazards into secondary products that eventually have to be disposed of.
For anything to be a resource, it should be as clean and pure as possible. Therefore, to generate wealth, anything that is not useful in a particular location of for a person’s should be put away without contaminating it with offer ‘waste’ or useless material. This is called ‘source segregation’. For instance, to make compost from ‘wet waste’ generated in homes, markets, educational institutions, hotels and restaurants or religious places, it must be ensured that it is not contaminated with ‘toxic waste’ such as batteries, paints, pesticides, mercury lamps and other hazardous chemicals. The quality of the compost then is excellent and by carrying out bio-methanation and composting, huge revenue from both the solid and liquid wastes can be realized.