Combating the plastic pollution! Emerging Initiatives for Reducing Plastic Usages

In Columns, Technology

Plastic is a very useful material but their chemical structure is such that it’s very hard to degrade them. It consists of a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic organic compounds that are malleable and can be molded into solid objects. People are using plastic at a very high rate in many forms but they don’t realize that its future consequences are going to be dangerous. The plastic pollution keeps on increasing and it is causing long term damage to the earth. Many people think we can burn plastic and get rid of them, but the burning of plastic is not a solution since it causes a lot of air pollution by releasing toxic gases in the environment. If we think of composting that’s also not going to work since the disintegration of plastic takes millions of years. Therefore, we need to find a solution to the increasing plastic problem.


There are some initiatives to reduce plastic uses:


EnviGreen
This is a company giving tribute to the mother earth by generating a substitute for plastic. They produce 100 percent biodegradable, non-toxic, eco-friendly bags that look similar to the plastic bags. They are made from natural starch, vegetable oil derivatives, and vegetable wastes. These do not affect animals and plants. Unlike plastics, these dissolves very quickly, if placed in water at normal temperature, Envigreen bags dissolve in a day and if placed in hot water it dissolves much quicker. It takes less than 180 days to biodegrade naturally. Therefore, there is no harm in using these bags. Also, people are in a habit of throwing the plastic bags outside and when animals consume it their health gets affected. Now with Envigreen bags, this problem also gets sorted as these bags are edible and cause no harm to animals.


PAN India Initiative
PAN refers to Progress Across Nation, many PAN India initiatives have been launched to reduce plastic pollution. Like clean India drive which includes cleaning of public places, forest, national reserves, etc. it includes making 100 monuments in nation plastic and litter-free.


Suchitwa Mission and Haritha Kerala Mission
Many government offices in Kerala, switched to ink-pens and steel cutlery to minimize the plastic items uses to its least. Government mooted Suchitwa Mission & Haritha Kerala Mission to promote it to other corporates and private sectors as well so that an eco-friendly working atmosphere can be created.


Using Plastic in road construction
Prof Rajagopalan Vasudevan, Professor of Chemistry at Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai. He is also known as the plastic man of India who has developed a technique to use plastic in road construction. Using waste plastic products in road construction reduces the plastic waste accumulation and provides strength and durability to the roads and prevents it from creating depressions during heavy rains.

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