Plastic Waste Management
Plastics Waste: Environmental Issues and Challenges
The quantum of solid waste is ever increasing due to increase in population, developmental activities, changes in life style, and socio-economic conditions, Plastics waste is a significant portion of the total municipal solid waste (MSW). It is estimated that approximately 10 thousand tons per day (TPD) of plastics waste is generated i.e. 9% of 1.20 lacs TPD of MSW in the country. The plastics waste constitutes two major category of plastics; (i)
Thermoplastics and (ii) Thermoset plastics.
Thermoplastics, constitutes 80% and thermoset constitutes approximately 20% of total post-consumer plastics waste generated in India. The Thermoplastics are recyclable plastics which include; Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), Low Density Poly Ethylene (LDPE), Poly Vinyl Chloride(PVC), High Density Poly Ethylene (HDPE), Polypropylene(PP), Polystyrene (PS) etc. Thermoset plastics contains alkyd, epoxy, ester, melamine formaldehyde, phenolic formaldehyde, silicon, urea formaldehyde, polyurethane, metalised and multilayer plastics etc.
HAZARDS OF THE PLASTIC WASTES
The environmental hazards due to mismanagement of plastics waste include the following aspects: 1.
Littered plastics spoils beauty of the city and choke drains and make important public places filthy;
Garbage containing plastics, when burnt may cause air pollution by emitting polluting gases;
Garbage mixed with plastics interferes in waste processing facilities and may also cause problems in landfill operations; 4.
Recycling industries operating in non-conforming areas are posing unhygienic problems to the environment.
Main Features of the Plastics Manufacture and Usage
(Amendment) Rules, 2003
Regulation of plastics waste, particularly manufacture and use of recycled plastics carry bags and containers is being regulated in the country as per Recycled Plastics Manufacture and Usage Rules, 1999 and as amended in 2003. According to these Rules:
No person shall manufacture, stock, distribute or sell carry bags made of virgin or recycled plastic bags which are less than 8 x 12 inches in size and having thickness less than 20 microns.
No vendor shall use carry bags/containers made of recycled plastics for storing, carrying, dispensing or packaging of food stuffs; 3.3.
Carry bags and containers made of recycled plastic and used for purposes other than storing and packaging food stuffs shall be manufactured using pigments and colorants as per IS 9833:1981 entitled “List of pigments and colorants for use in plastics in contact with food stuffs, pharmaceuticals and drinking water”. 3.4.
Recycling of plastics shall be undertaken strictly in accordance with the Bureau of Indian Standard specification: IS 14534:1998 entitled “The Guidelines for Recycling of Plastics”
Manufacturers of recycled plastic carry bags having printing facilities shall code/mark carry bags and containers as per Bureau of Indian Standard specification: IS 14534:1998 (The Guidelines for Recycling of Plastics).
No person shall manufacture carry bags or containers irrespective of its size or weight unless the occupier of the unit has registered the unit with respective SPCB/PCC prior to the commencement of production. 3.7.
The prescribed authority for enforcement of the provisions of these rules related to manufacturing and recycling is SPCB in respect of States and the PCC in Union Territories and for relating to use, collection, segregation, transportation and disposal shall be the District Collector/ Deputy Commissioner of the concerned district.
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