Most advances of human society over the century have been fascinated by the use of plastic. Over hundreds of Million metric tons of plastic is produced in the world annually out of which 50% is for disposable applications, products that are discarded within a year of their purchases. The result is, today, market is flooded with plastic products. Packaging industry is making the most of its use and packaged products, generates a heap of plastic waste per household. With the growing trends of packaged food and various other ready to use products, post-consumer plastic waste has emerged as a problem that requires global attention. This term is basically used to define the residual, which mostly includes non-biodegradable and hazardous products. As the global economy focuses more towards urbanization and modernization there is a drastic increase in these wastes too. The unfortunate part is that most of this waste goes untreated and becomes hazardous for the environment.
In scientific terms, there are two layers of non-biodegradable packaging that pose a huge threat to the environment. In fact, packaging waste is one of the largest contributors towards plastic waste generation.
What can be done?
For stopping the ongoing damage to the environment manufacturing and packaging world needs a drastic and organized change. Environmentalists and industrialists need to come up with products that are safe for the environment. There are many companies who have shifted to eco friendly packaging options but the numbers of waste producing industries continue to outnumber the product-recycling ratio in this sector. A streamlined process is required where these wastes can be managed in a cost effective way. The volume of waste is another big concern. In this regard, again it is important to cut down on unnecessary layers of packaging, which requires a coherent effort.
Proper assimilation and treatment
Post-consumer waste, especially plastic ones need to be segregated in terms of degradable, non-biodegradable and recyclable at the source itself. This requires consumer awareness and government interference in the matter. It is very necessary to separate waste in terms of their properties, which would ensure a good waste management. The consumers need to be aware of the consequences also government should keep rewards and punishments for the same.
Not every plastic is of the same kind. There are plastics, which have more recyclable capacity than others depending upon their type. Few are fit for remolding and can be recycled in that manner rest needs chemical recycling. Hence it is important to understand these basic factors and ensure that a cohesive solution can be devised to minimize the same. With recycling, awareness and other similar methods this can be achieved in the long run.