People should be trained to recycle plastics: Experts

AURANGABAD: Emerging challenges and threat posed to the environment due to plastic waste pollution, land filling, global warming necessitates effective management of plastic wastes to usable end products, such as disposable and durable items, opined experts at a seminar organised by the Central Institute of Plastics and Engineering (CIPET) in the city on Friday. They also emphasised that industries, consumers and municipal bodies should join hands and work together to address the problems which arise due to indiscriminate littering and absence of proper system for disposal.

People should be trained to recycle plastics Experts

Experts pointed out that a major portion of plastic produced each year is used to make disposable items of packaging or other short-lived products that are discarded within a year of manufacture. These two observations alone indicate that our current use of plastic is not sustainable. “Plastic is a versatile product and it has permeated every aspect of human life. A unique advantage of the product is its ability to be reprocessed and recycled quite easily,” said CIPET chief manager (technical), Chennai, S Ilangovan.

Pointing out that nearly 40% of plastic waste is being recycled in India, he said that it was one of the highest in the world. Stating that plastics cannot be got rid of, he said that people should learn how to deal with them. Talking about the usage of plastics, he said that it was 120 kg per head in the US, 35 kg in China and 9 kg in India.

Underscoring the need for the right attitude towards plastics, he said that henceforth the slogan should be, ‘Say no to plastic littering’. “People should be trained to recycle plastics,” he said.

Meanwhile, NGOs said that local bodies, particularly corporations and municipalities, should effectively implement solid waste management programmes.

Speaking at a technical seminar on ‘Creating awareness about positive attributes of plastics and waste management’, Sanveer Chhabda, member of Civic Response Team (CRT) – a platform for citizens working for effective management of solid waste in Aurangabad, said that local bodies should play a pivotal role in solid waste management, including management of plastic waste. She spoke on ‘Integrating waste pickers into formal SWM systems’.

“A large amount of plastic waste generated every year is dumped on the earth’s surface. These plastics withstand all decomposition processes of nature. A huge amount of this plastic waste is used to fill lands, which in turn is likely to create major environmental threats in the future. People use and discard plastic on a daily basis. Usually plastic products are made out of combining more than one type of plastic. Each type requires different methods and treatment while recycling,” said Suhas Dixit, director, Pycrocrat Systems LLP, Mumbai.

He said that using the technique of Pyrolysis process, any type of plastic waste can be broken down into smaller molecules and the output derived from the process is known as Bio Fuel or Pyrolysis Fuel. Only less than 15% of plastic waste can be recycled by using normal techniques. The Pyrolysis technology can recycle plastic waste without creating any hazards to nature.

“By the year 2020, all plastic waste can be converted into useful bio fuel and will be subjected to thermal and mechanical processing with the help of Pyrolysis. Further research is being conducted on the process of Pyrolysis in order to ensure its capability in transforming plastic wastes into useful industrial products. Plastic materials cannot be recycled efficiently by any other recycling process,” he said.

“Plastic Solid Waste (PSW) is considered to be the most harmful for human kind. The Pyrolysis process grinds these plastics in the absence of oxygen and produces a pure quality finished product called Pyrolysis oil. This process requires only plastic waste or tire wastes as the raw material. Every Pyrolysis plant uses green technology in order to carry forward the processes in an environment-friendly manner,” he explained.

“Clean India mission does not mean we pick up our waste from streets and build mountains of waste. It means manage, segregate and dispose off waste. It means compost from biodegradables, recycling recyclables and energy from plastic. Only stones should go to dumping yard,” he added.

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