The Environmental Impact of Plastic Pollution

Plastic has become one of the most used and versatile materials in the world today and our lives would be incomplete without it. You’ll find plastic in almost everything around you—in your furniture, kitchen appliances, vehicles, toys, utensils, clothes, and so on. While there are many benefits of using plastic, it has become a serious cause of concern when it comes to its impact on the environment. The environmental movement has gained momentum over the past few decades, particularly with the introduction of plastic recycling.

However, as this movement continues to grow, so does the amount of plastic waste that we generate. And as much as we know about how to recycle, there may be still some pieces of plastic that you’re not aware of. Plastic waste has been making the news lately, and not in a good way. It seems like you can’t turn on the TV or flip through your social media feeds without seeing something horrific news about plastic pollution. You might be wondering what all the hubbub is about and if you should be concerned about plastic use in your daily life.

Plastic may be convenient, but it comes with serious consequences for the environment. Plastics are made from fossil fuels, which means they’re a non-renewable resource. It also means that petroleum-based plastics generate carbon dioxide, contributing to global warming. Plastic waste has created dreadful problems all over the world, from our oceans to our landfills and even to our stomachs. It’s time to rethink your use of plastic, especially if you’re an environmentally-conscious consumer who wants to live more naturally and sustainably.

In 2008, 14% of greenhouse gas emissions came from plastic manufacturing and disposal. Not only is that a lot of pollution, but it also contributes to climate change. If we want to save our planet, we need to reduce our reliance on petroleum-based plastics and look more into diverse recycling solutions. The possible alternatives like bioplastics and paper products, won’t pollute our air or water and emit harmful greenhouse gases into our atmosphere.

As you can imagine, all that waste ends up in landfills and waterways, where it can stay for thousands of years without breaking down. Plus, it takes a lot of fossil fuels to produce plastic bottles from scratch. In fact, more than 8 million barrels of oil are used annually to manufacture plastic bottles. That’s why many environmentalists say we should focus on the plastic recycling process.

Animals have used ocean debris as sources of food and shelter but over 5 trillion pieces of plastic currently floating in our oceans. Just 36 years from now, there will be more plastics in the ocean than fish. In fact, some parts of our ocean have already reached the peak of plastic debris. This is why, as an EPR company, we have come up with an innovative solution to upscale the plastic waste management industry at every corner of India. We provide EPR Plastic Services by working on Extended Producer Responsibility or EPR business work model. Our team aims to help brand owners meet a vast pool of recyclers for their Extended Producer Responsibility obligation. India is moving at a high pace towards growth. But as responsible consumers, we should also think about the destruction that we are causing. If the plastic wastes are not taken care of, the situation will worsen more. Not only India, but the whole world will also collapse one day and we are just counting the days. It is not too far from us. Our only goal is to make a pollution-free environment for our future and growth. If a small contribution is able to maintain the balance of the ecological system, then our future generation would be blessed.

How To Avail The Benefits From Plastic Waste With Minimal Spending?

Plastic is a synthetic or semi-synthetic everyday material, made of Polyethylene, a thermoplastic polymer. It is cost-effective, easy to produce, highly durable, and helps protect and preserve goods through packaging.

But being a non-degradable product, it affects the environment worldwide and leads to plastic pollution. The world is turning into a plastic island. Oceans are filled with microplastic chips that are toxic to the marine ecosystem. We are already living in a time where we eat plastic with our foods and beverages, we use plastic for packaging and we stuffed more and more plastic waste in our motherland.

If we decide to stop plastic production all of a sudden, then we have to look at other alternatives that add similar value to plastic. But, this is not a fruitful solution. Researchers and scientists from all over the world, are looking for a way out to deal with plastic pollution. After lots of research, they came to a decision. By proper recycling and making useful products from plastic debris, we can get rid of plastic waste.

Indian Govt. has mandated new regulations on Waste management Rules by the Central Pollution Control Board. They have implemented Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) to control the situation. It is the responsibility of the producers and manufacturers to take care of the plastic waste products that were once reached to the consumers from their peripheries.

To keep this in mind, Ecoex has come up with an idea to offer an online platform where producers, importers, recyclers, manufacturers can sell or purchase MLP & Non-MLP plastic wastes from any corner of India. It is India’s first digital marketplace that provides secure & transparent plastic credit certificate transactions. The registered recyclers have used the waste in many ways we can’t even imagine.

Let us see the beneficial side we are getting from plastic waste-

1) Home Decors: We can take used plastic bottles at home and create some cute crafts for home decorations. Thus, we can recycle at least 1% of the plastic waste at home.

2) Industrial Fuel: Do you know that we can now produce diesel, jet fuel, crude oil from plastic waste? Yes! The plastic is heated at a very high temperature in an inert atmosphere and the thermal decomposition produces fuel from the pyrolysis process.

3) Carbon Tubes: Small carbon tubes are widely used in marine engineering, medicine, and even in bomb disposal devices. These nanotubes can be made of plastic waste.

4) Sponges For Oil Spills: PET plastic is a huge source of plastic waste. The aerogel that is chemically produced from PETs, could absorb the spilled oil way faster than other commercially available materials.

5) Road Chips: The plastic wastes are mixed with hot bitumen at a certain temperature and used for road construction. It is a cheap, eco-friendly, and strong substitute for cement blocks.

There are many pieces of research going on, to look for other alternative recycling processes of plastic waste materials. If we all together come with innovative ideas to deal against plastic pollution, we will definitely be successful to gift our future a balanced ecosystem.

Effects Of Plastic Waste On Marine Ecology

There is no doubt, India is full of multiple resources. It could have been wealthier than all other developed countries. The problems are the cheap availability of resources and lower labour costs. They are the main reasons behind this large scale production in India and plastic plays an important role here.

Do you ever think that where does the plastic waste go? It became a “Use it once and throw it away” type of material for a very long time. People buy a bottle of water, cold drinks, or a packet of chips and they often throw the empty bottles and packets on the road. It is a very familiar scenario in India. People do not bother to put the debris into the garbage boxes every time. They are always in a hurry and put the plastic waste behind. They think the trash collector would pick the waste and it will eventually end up in any dump area.

But this is not true. The waste moves away by air and rainwater. It will end up floating into water bodies like ponds, rivers and oceans. In fact, many cities directly dump garbage in the oceans. There are five garbage patches all over the world- 1) South Pacific, 2) North Atlantic, 3) South Atlantic, 4) Indian and 5) North Pacific. Plastic islands are formed from plastic debris on these five oceans. Among these, the Great Pacific garbage patch is the largest garbage patch in the world, located in between California and Hawaii. The garbage patch is not clearly visible. It cannot be scanned by satellites. Because the garbage patch is made of microplastics that can’t be seen in naked eyes. The microplastics are floating throughout the area. A ship can even pass through the barely visible plastic island.

Microplastics not only pollute the water but also disturb the marine balance. Marine fishes and animals accidentally take the micro materials as food. If there is any large plastic material floating into the water, animals get stuck with it. Planktons and coral reefs are becoming less in numbers because the microplastics ruin their source of nutrition.

If the ocean clean-up project starts efficiently from today, it will take a minimum of 20 to 30 years to remove the garbage patch. But there are countless plastic islands floating here and there in the mid of oceans. It is not just about The Great Pacific garbage patch. So, what should we do to stop forming plastic debris in the ocean?

We can take bio-degradable and eco-friendly materials as an alternative to plastic. But is it really a prolific solution? If we can use plastic wastes as trading materials and recycle them for a better purpose, it would be great for big tech companies and also for consumers all over the world.

Ecoex has come up with the idea where they provide a digital platform to producers, recyclers and manufacturers of giant companies all over India. As the leading Plastic EPR company, they can sell or purchase plastic waste through their plastic credit system. Ecoex helps India turn into a plastic neutral country.

How Plastic Extended Producer Responsibility Can Increase Your Profit!

Plastic had become a part of our lives; it has secured its place everywhere in different forms like grocery polythene, coffee lids, water bottles to take out containers. China is the biggest importer of plastic in the world. Its primary sources are Japan, the UK, the USA, and Germany. 

Plastic has undoubtedly many advantages like being cost-effective, easy to purchase, water-proof, comes handy. At the same time, if you look at the other side of the coin, you will understand how problematic plastic is. 

Suppose you bought a plastic water bottle and threw it after your use. Now, the plastic bottle is put up in a landfill to degrade & the study shows that a single plastic water bottle takes 450 years to decompose, and you can imagine the situation now. That’s why we have to be very careful when choosing the plastic-type, such as avoiding using single-use plastics, making cloth shopping bags, buying food in bulk, etc. 

But let’s get honest here we can’t ignore or cut down plastic totally from our lives. That’s why the authorities have come up with a practical solution to deal with plastic waste & that is Plastic Waste Management Programme (2018-2024). The program is the initiative to establish environmental-free plastic disposal methods. 

 Later in 2016, the government of India has introduced Plastic Extended Producer Responsibility

 just like EPR E-Waste. Superficially, this law involved the trading of plastic waste between the producer & manufacturer or recycler. 

How Plastic is traded into business? 

The term EPR is the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), and according to the EPR Plastic, it is the manufacturer’s responsibility to either dispose or recycle post-consumer products. Under this policy, the manufacturers get financial support & plastic producer must give proof of the same amount of recycled plastic produced as waste. So, in the end, he can earn the plastic credit points.  

Generally, the manufacturers recycle the waste plastic to convert it into a usable product. So, it will be sold at a lesser price in the market compared to the fresh products. 

Is EPR Plastic Sustainable? 

The answer is a big ‘yes’ that EPR for plastic waste is sustainable for the following reasons.

It brings the plastic product to its end. 

  • It reduces the headache of management of plastic waste to the industrialist. Since EPR is trading between the producer & manufacturer, so, it is must serve profit to both sides. 
  • The prime principle of EPR compliance is recycling, and it has many benefits, such as 
  • They are reducing the plastic from the environment by recycling & creating a re-usable product from it. 
  • Recycled products have a lesser retail price. It involves working local people as laborers, thus helpful in employing people and thus building the nation’s economy. 
  • Plastic EPR also generates the importance of recycling plastic and thus helping in creating a less hazardous environment for future generations. 

Conclusion

We can’t neglect plastic from our lives, but the economic potential of the waste is much higher if traded legally. Plastic trading is not helping in reducing waste but also providing livelihood to people.