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Waste Management Plastic Recycling Through Various Methods

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Introduction

Plastic and its concern: Plastics are an intrinsic part of society and have a wide range of uses. Plastics are macromolecules made up of a network of molecular monomers bound together. There is growing concern owing to non-degradability and emission of toxic gases on combustion during the process of incineration.

Packaging, automobiles, agriculture, and biomedical areas are all witnessing increased use as a result of the ability of plastic to be fabricated into desired shapes, colors, and specifications that are convenient for customers. Due to advancements in information technology, and smarter packaging systems, they have become indispensable to the new generation.

Plastic waste management

Waste management plastic recycling is a critical problem. Despite its many uses, its waste and the resulting pollutants clog our rivers, seas, and forests, and have a negative impact on biodiversity. Plastic waste production rates are frequently influenced by socioeconomic growth, industrialization, and climatic conditions.

In India Municipalities, and the local govt has played an instrumental role in establishing waste management regulations, with the goal of reducing the amount of waste disposed on landfills through the adoption of 3R's policy of reuse, recycle, and reduce. Plastic waste is usually managed through recycling, landfills or incineration.  The real answer to the waste management issue is to spread awareness among people that they should adopt practices that involve segregation of dry and wet solid waste at its source.

For successful enforcement of plastic waste management, a severe penalty should be included for non-compliance with the regulations. The issue could be addressed by constructing effective solid waste management systems and promoting the establishment of recycling plants.

What does plastic waste constitute?

Waste plastic comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Film packaging and polythene carry bags are the most common, followed by blow-molded containers and damaged and abandoned moulded pieces. The range is broad and encompasses the following:

  1. Thrown away PVC footwear in a variety of colors and plastic graded materials.
  2. Mineral water and liquor bottles made of PET
  3. Toothbrushes, pens, PP films etc.
  4. Medicine foils etc.

Plastic waste management: regulatory framework

The Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 were introduced with an aim to manage plastic effectively and plan out the ways to minimize the use of plastic. They were further amended in the year 2018.

Read Our Blog: What's new in Plastic Waste Management Rules?

Plastic waste management: conventional methods

The conventional methods usually involve three processes:

  • Recycling:

Plastic recycling must be done in such a way that it decreases pollution while in the process and, as a consequence, improves productivity and saves energy. Primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary recycling technologies are the four forms of plastic recycling.

  1. Processing waste into a product with characteristics identical to the original product is referred to as primary recycling.
  2. Secondary recycling entails the transformation of waste plastics into items with properties that differ from those of the original plastics.
  3. Simple chemicals and fuels are derived from plastic scrap or as a separated waste in tertiary recycling.
  4. Burning/incineration reclaims the energy content of scrap plastics in quaternary recycling. In India, this method is not used.

The numerous steps involved in recycling of waste plastic is are laid down as follows:

  1. Selection
  2. Segregation
  3. Processing

Mechanical recycling:

By recycling plastic waste without altering the basic structure of matter, mechanical recycling is used to invent different items. This method is also known as material recycling.

  • Landfills:

This is a convenient waste management method, but landfill space in some countries is becoming scarce. While there are long-term risks of degradation of groundwater quality by contaminants and soil by a few additives, a well-managed landfill site results in little immediate harm to the environment beyond the hazards of collection and transportation.

  • Incineration:

While this method reduces the need for plastic waste to be disposed of in landfills, there are concerns that toxic materials may be released into the environment during the process. Mixed plastic waste, for example, also contains halogenated additives and PVC, posing a risk of dioxins, furans, and other polychlorinated biphenyls being emitted into the atmosphere.

Plastic waste management: recent technologies

The list is laid down as follows:

  1. Bitumen Road laying through blend of polymers:

The method of laying roads with waste plastics has been engineered, and the technique is being fully deployed for the construction of versatile roads in India.

  1. Plastic waste co-processing in a cement kiln:

Municipal solid waste includes plastic waste created by various cities and towns. It is a source of concern that the dumping of plastic waste is causing a slew of issues, including leaching into land and ground water, clogging drains, rendering land infertile, and indiscriminate burning, among others. To solve the issue of plastic waste disposal, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has teamed up with the M. P. Pollution Control Board to use waste plastic in the cement plant at ACC KY more (Katni, M. P.).

  1. Plastic waste co-processing as an alternative fuel and raw material (AFR):

Co-processing is the use of waste materials in industrial processes such as cement production, lime production, steel production, and power plants or other massive combustion plants. Co-processing demonstrates the use of waste-recovery industries and waste-derived materials to replace primary fuel and raw materials.

  1. Plasma Pyrolysis Technology (PPT):

Plasma Pyrolysis is a technique that combines plasma's thermochemical properties with the pyrolysis method. Plasma pyrolysis technology's intense and flexible heat generation capacity allows it to dispose of all forms of plastic waste.

  1. Plastic Waste to Liquid Fuel Conversion:

This technology is not difficult to understand. It can accept a wide variety of plastics as feedstock, including those that are unwashed, unsorted, or difficult to recycle. After obtaining the material, it can be broken up into small pieces before being used, although recent developments have made it possible to insert larger pieces of plastic straightforwardly into the system.

Conclusion

In light of urbanization activities, plastic waste management has become absolutely crucial.  Various programmes and schemes are being introduced in India to avoid hazards of plastic waste. One such scheme for managing the waste of plastic goods is recycling. It makes increasing economic and environmental sense, and current trends show a significant increase in the rate of plastic waste recovery and recycling. Recycling waste plastics, when combined with efforts to enhance the specification and use of recycled grades as substitute for virgin plastic, is an effective way for the polymer industry to strengthen its environmental efficiency.

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Author
Shamshad Alam
Experienced Digital Marketer with a demonstrated history of working in the internet industry. He likes to write about the latest technology trends, Skilled in Digital Marketing likes. Search Engine Optimization, SMO, SEM, PPC, Content Writing, and, Designing, etc.