Bharatbhai Dwivedi : Civic awareness is a growing need. Today, garbage management has become a critical issue for every civic body on Earth because the ‘very sense’ of addressing, managing and attending to plastic waste at the ‘very source’ is missing. By ‘very source’ is meant the one who is throwing or discarding plastic of any kind, type or size and who needs to be made aware of attending, managing and addressing the issue at ‘that very moment’. Plastic has penetrated so swiftly in our day-to-day life that we forget that more than 60 per cent of waste usages have plastic in it.
The civic society has now accepted the segregation in terms of bio-waste, organic waste or inorganic waste. The problem does not get solved or restricted by just that. The larger concern is ‘plastic’ and/or ‘other than plastic’ waste. Households, traders, businessmen might not even be aware of such industrial garbage segregations. For them, understanding it as ‘plastic and plastic-related material’ to ‘non-plastic material’ is much easier and makes greater sense to conform with.
Throwing (discarding) food wastes in plastic bags has become common practice for every household. They are completely unaware of its ill-effects:- (a) consumption by animals can be fettered; (b) deformed and decomposed bio-waste develops unfriendly bacteria and bursts into stinking smell that may even be a cause of modern day epidemics; (c) downpour brings happiness to every life but plastic waste mingled with other wastes blocks water, acting as a plug to water running through the drainage system, and (d) water blockages cause hardships for local citizens.
One can overpower these bottlenecks simply by changing plastic and like-plastic waste discarding habits and developing a habit of addressing it ‘at source’ itself, by condensing, stuffing all waste into a thicker and relatively smaller plastic bag. Compress and condense as much as you can; accumulate to make bigger one solidly stuffed, condensed and turn it into a stout plastic waste ready to discard.
One is stunned when one starts listing every object, whether it be plastic, or having plastic, or related to plastic. Carry bags, sacks, packaging material, used ballpoint pen, furniture, toothbrush, various brushes–cleaners, service bowls, plates, trays, jars, spectacles, empty medical strips, bottles, syringes, plastic containers, tubes, sachets, mugs, buckets, briefcases, travel bags, shoes, chappals–sandals, soap box, mobile cover – the list is endless!!
Recently, a deep water expedition team of scientists found the presence of plastic contents at 10,000 meters under the water surface. This shocking revelation is mind-boggling. Draconian plastic waste is also evident at every mountain peak. Needless to say, even Mount Everest is not spared by it, rather, it is covered by plastic waste! The plastic that never dies. The Ghost Lives Nowhere, But Everywhere. Need Evidence Any More?
The plastic that never dies but can be addressed nicely by vibrant and finest creative innovative minds. Till then, we citizens can do our best by discarding each of the small pieces of plastic into a cumulated one-condensed, stuffed solid shell and feel content for our respective contribution, maintaining a planet Earth free from the murderous clutches of plastic waste.
Plastic is a critical waste; a direct threat to the environment and so is fly ash, another equally tricky and critical waste.
Irrigated land turns barren if spread with fly ash even once. Environment-threatening critical wastes, if dealt with together, would mean that war against it is won to a great extent. Since this issue concerns the public, the concept of making best use of wastes produced here and enabling whosoever is interested to make hands-on experiments should be encouraged. Come out with best innovative and creative experience and share it for the betterment of the greater cause!
Making Best of Waste
Critical wastes like fireclay and plastic wastes can be used as raw material for products like bricks, small slabs, paved drainage slabs, etc. Metal dyes with fly ash compression-pressure functions, having multi angle, multi point, multi level, plastic-waste infusing functions can be used as a bonding material. Liquefied plastic waste can be infused by nozzle. Other suitable options too could be explored. Plastic being fire sensitive, usage of liquefied plastic waste is recommended to maintain the lowest possible cost as bonding material for end product. Pour hot fly ash into appropriate pressure dyes, compress it to enable it to take the required shape; infuse liquefied plastic waste and offload ready to use product.
A large scale production line can be worked out at an end where hot fly ash is available in abundance. Similarly, a small scale line can be planned at the source where hot fly ash availability is low. Social obligations like low-cost housing, relatively better tremor and earth-quake resistant building materials, low-cost compound walls, low-cost drainage systems, etc. can be met with increased use of the fly ash.
Such practices also create scope for self employment. A self-supporting, small scale manufacturing unit has the potential to serve society. Conceptualizing the concept has the advantages of:- (a) engineering marvel and directly benefitting humanity; (b) by addressing two of the most critical wastes, direct threat to environment is reduced; (c) needs no big production sites; (d) creates massive scope for self-employment for economically underprivileged class, and (e) reduces the need for massive dumping grounds/areas.
To sum up the few recommendations : (1) Discarding/throwing plastic waste in open should be banned; (2) Different colour wastage boxes should be planned and citizens’ understanding regarding segregation of ‘Plastic and related to plastic material’ and ‘other than plastic waste’ should be upgraded; (3) inspiring massages such as “Learn, Discard Plastic Wastes and Go More Civilian” should be promoted, and (4) Heavy penalties should be imposed for throwing waste in or near the water bodies.