What is Plastic ?

Plastic material is synthetic or semi-synthetic organic solids that are moldable. Plastics are typicallyorganic polymers of high molecular mass, but they often contain other substances. They are usually synthetic, most commonly derived from petrochemicals, but many are partially natural.

Consumption of Plastic:

150 million tons of plastic per year is being produced globally. In India, approximately 12 million tons plastic products are consumed every year (as on 2012). Its broad range of application is in packaging films, wrapping materials, shopping and garbage bags, fluid containers, clothing, toys, household and industrial products, and building materials.

  • It is being studied that plastic waste takes more than 700 years to degrade as per lab studies.

Plastic waste generation an present scenario in India

  • It is estimated that, India generates 1.88 lakh tons of garbage every day of which 8% is plastic waste. 60% of this plastic waste is recycled/reused in unorganised manner. However, rest 40% is being landfilled/dumped/burnt.
  • Burning of garbage with plastic generates 51 types of cancernogenic gases which are very poisionous to environment. It also significantly contributes to climate change.
  • The honorable Supreme Court has also taken a serious note on increasing consumption of plastic and need for scietific ways for managing plastic waste.
  • The local government is not able to achieve source segregation as per the guidelines of MSW Rules 2000.
  • Presence of plastics in garbage has become a nuisance which hampers segregation, processing and disposal of waste.

Recycling/reusage of plastic waste

The recycled plastics are more harmful to the environment than the virgin products due to mixing of colour, additives, stabilizers, flame retardants etc. Further, the recycling of a virgin plastic material can be done 2-3 time only, because, after every recycling, the strength of plastic material is reduced due to thermal degradation. In India, there is no specific rule for managing and monitoring of plastic waste recycling industries. Recyclers are using crude methods to thermally degrade the plastic which is causing serious hazards to health and environment.

India is being rated highest among all the countries for its recycling business. Plastic menace can be tackled only if a scietific and permanent solution can be found for its disposal. Plastic waste to roads and other construction materials is the feasible and scietific solution for plastic menace.

Types of Plastics Types of Plastics