Plastic is by far the most ingenious innovation. We go to the corner shop for provisions or to a bakery or to the local vegetable vendor and conveniently bring back our things in a plastic bag, which is lightweight and so convenient.
Decades ago, shopping bags in various sizes made of cloth and jute were available which would last for almost six months. But now we go hands-free and bring home stuff in plastic bags. But plastic, the ‘Mr. convenient’ is becoming a burden, thanks to our irresponsible abandoning of the plastic bags as we please.
Negative sides of using it:
Plastic by itself is harmful to the environment when it is manufactured and since most plastic is not biodegradable it causes collateral damage. Plastics are made from petroleum products, except a few forms which are made from resins. Plastics can be moulded in different forms mainly because of their molecular structure. More than a hundred million tonnes of plastics are produced every year and developed countries produce the most. They also offload used recyclable plastics to developing countries and unfortunately, India is one of the largest importer of these used plastics.
Carelessly strewn plastic materials cause a lot of damage. They clog drains and are eaten by grazing cattle, which may cause death. Plastic materials obstruct and prevent rain water from seeping into the ground. Many plastic materials may induce cancer and are a proven health hazard. During manufacturing of plastics, many waste by-products contain chlorofluorocarbons, which affect the ozone layer and lead to global warming.
Hill stations, where tourists flock, face a huge problem of plastic waste.
It is heartening to note that some hill stations like Ooty in Tamil Nadu, Darjeeling in West Bengal and some cities have completely banned the use of plastic. This is a welcome trend.
After the monsoon, due to continuous water stagnation, roads get damaged.
What can be done to prevent From ill effects of Plastic?
There is an urgent need to educate society on the ill effects of plastic so that progressively we can reduce its usage and learn to use alternative products, which are eco-friendly and inculcate good practices of plastic disposal.
The garbage we accumulate in our homes should be segregated into biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste to facilitate proper disposal by a local municipality. A substantial quantity of municipal waste can be reused for energy production or composted for manure but plastic waste which comprises about 10 per cent in weight or 20 per cent in volume is the main impediment. Many cities have woken up to the ill effects of plastic and have banned its use.
Since plastic is impermeable and prevents water seepage, it can be used for strengthening the top layer while laying roads, mixed it with bitumen.

From India, Ahmadabad
Process Industry Consultant / Soft Skill
Hr Professional

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Dear Sagar Modi,

It is good to see that you have chosen a very relevant Environment topic.

Plastic wastes are indeed a menace and have been extensively discussed in the past in this forum.

I would like to give two references. One in which some of us contributed in Cite HR.

Please refer to

The second one is about the practical way to get rid of plastic waste.

A proven initiative of Dr Vasudevan of Thigarajar Engineering College Madurai TN

has success story to tell.

I have attached some selected slides which show how it can be used for road laying.

Some basic Chemistry is also included in the slides.

For those who are keen on knowing more details please refer to the following URL in Google search

Utilization of Waste Plastics in Rural Roads by Dr. R. Vasudevan

The full presentation of about 200 slides can be downloaded from the above.

Hope more people read this and find ways of utilizing waste plastic.


From India

Attached Files (Download Requires Membership)
File Type: ppt Plastics for road laying by Dr R Vasudevan.ppt (4.13 MB, 146 views)

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