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India on why it should improve its Plastic Waste Management system

By Sayan Basak posted 01-14-2020 18:13

  

The Worldwide Pollution Control Association published the recent report in which they cited that the World uses around 5 trillion plastic bags every year. The amount of plastic that ultimately accumulates in the water bodies including lakes and rivers sums up to approximately 13 million tons. Amidst of all these figures, India alone is one of the largest consumers of plastic using almost 50% of the worldwide single-use plastic production.

Every household in India registers for more than 10% of the total waste that is accumulated every day. Although the production rate of plastics in India has touched nearly 16% as compared to China (10%) and The United Kingdom (2.5%), the plastic waste management system is performing miserably. Using plastic is not the problem and especially in a country like India, it is useful. The problem arises when we throw this plastic at any random place catalyzing them to percolate through the ecosystem turning them one of the prime threats to the living creatures. Prolonged exposure to sunlight and ultraviolet radiation leads to photo-oxidation of the plastic wastes. Furthermore, most plastic waste when left unattained, liberates, furans, and polychlorinated biphenyls into the environment. The Phthalates also turn out to be one of the most fatal substances liberated when plastics are disposed of/managed inefficiently. A comprehensive list of the major Phthalates along with their ill effects is given below in a tabular form. The plastic wastes when dumped without a proper management channel affects the soil quality and also possesses a potential threat to the domestic animal that unconsciously eats them.

Phthalates

Sources of Exposure

Health Impact

Dimethyl Phthalate

Industrial liberations and pesticides/Insecticides

Affects the musculoskeletal system

Diethyl Phthalate

Personal care products and pharmaceuticals

Reduced Growth Rate

Di-n-butyl Phthalate

Adhesives along with the Personal care products and pharmaceuticals

Reduction in the sperm count and affects the reproductive system

Benzyl Butyl Phthalate

Vinyl Flooring and Synthetic leather

Cryptorchidism

Diethyl Hexyl Phthalate

Food Containers and Packaging

Hepatocellular Carcinoma

 

 

In a country like India that harnesses pisciculture becomes one of the most affected countries when exposed to plastic waste dumping in water bodies due to biomagnification and bioamplification of the toxic materials. The advancement of the science and the emergence of the latest technologies have made the attention of the commons to shift to reusable plastics and biodegradable materials including plastic bags, packaging wastes, or metalized packaging wastes. Although the transition from the conventional plastics to reusable plastics seems to be an easy choice, the cost of these biodegradable products turns out to be the biggest hindrance.

It's you, that needs to figure out how to make these material made available to the commons making the cost and the availability of these products the same as the conventional plastic bags.

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