Plastic Waste

Plastic  Waste

Plastic is the general common term for wide range of synthetic or semi synthetic organic amorphous solid materials derived from oil and natural gas. The word 'Plastic' is derived from the Greek word 'Plastikos' meaning fit for moulding & 'Plastos' meaning moulded.

A marval of polymer chemistry, plastics have become an indispensable part of our daily life. The first human-made plastic, parkesine, later called cellulose, was invented by Alexander Parkes in 1855. The development of plastics  has come from the use of natural plastic materials(e.g., chewing gum, shellac) to the use of chemically modified natural materials, e.g., rubber, nitrocellulose, collagen, galalite and finally to completely synthetic molecules, e.g., bakelite, epoxy, polyvinylchloride and polyyethylene.

Environmental Issues

1.  Lack of proper collection and  management.

2.  The 'throw away culture' result in these bags finding their way in the city drainage system and thus choking the drains.

3.  Littering of land by plastic bags presents an ugly and unhygienic scene

4.  The littering also reduces rate of rain water percolation resulting in lowering water table levels.

5.  Plastics go into the water bodies which are already polluted due to many sources. Fish and other aquatic animals 

     swallow plastic garbage mistaken as food items.

6.  Plastics become a nuisance because of their non-biodegradability.

7.  Animals eating carry bags sometimes die.

8.  Soil fertility deteriorates as plastic bags form part of manure and remain in soil for years.

9.  Polythene bags if burnt release highly toxic gases like phosgene, carbon monoxide, chlorine, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen

     oxide beside deadly dioxins.

10. Requires large are for disposal and there are further waste disposal impactsrelated to land fills and incineration.

 Health Hazards

During the manufactureing process of polythene carry bags various harmful components/chemicals like colourants, pigments, plasticizers, antioxidants, stabilizers and heavy metals are used. Colours used during the process are mostly non food grade and leach out with other chemicals/components thus contaminating food and other items carried in these bags.These chemicals can cause diseases like cancer, degeneration of brain tissues, heart enlargement etc.

Most of us take following metals with ready-to-eat food items,if carried in the cloured polythene carry bags:

i)  Lead through Black polythene carry bags.

ii)  Chromium through Red polythene carry bags.

iii)  Copper through Blue poythene carry bags.

iv)  Salt of Barium through Green polythene carry bags.

 State Policy / Rules

1)  The J&K Non-Biodegradable Meterial (Managment, Handling and Disposal) Act 2007 was enacted to prohibit and

      regulate handling and disposal of non-biodegradable meterial in the State and mattes connected thereto.

2) The Govt. vide SRO 411 dated 3/12/07 directs that the powers to be exercised and functions to be perfrmed by the

      Prescribed Authority under the act are conferred on State Pollution Control Board.

3)  Vide SRO-182 dated 18/6/2008 J&K Govt. imposed ban on polythene carry bags within the territorial limits of the State.

4)  Govt. vide SRO 122 dated 11/5/2009 has framed rules for enforcement of various provision of the Act called J&K

      Non-Biodegradable Material (Management, Handling and Disposal)Rules, 2009.