The Solution to Plastic Management
Plastics have been widely and extensively used since there invention due to its durability and versatility. From plastic bottles, bags and many other products have depicted the perfect picture of its usefulness to humanity. However, the shocking reality is that not only is it harming humans indirectly but also environment, ecosystems, water life and countless others.
In Bangladesh, plastic has increased by 80 times in past 28 years. It has grown to 1,800,000 metric tons in 2019 from just 15 thousand metric tons in 1990 and is speculated to grow furthermore. Management of plastic consumption is essential as regular use is causing severe harm to the soil, water, health, flora and fauna, as well as affecting food chains due to non-biodegradability.
Plastics in oceans typically degrade within a year, but not entirely. In the process, toxic chemicals such as bisphenol A and polystyrene can leach into waters from some plastics. Polystyrene pieces and nurdles—recycled small plastic raw material, but they easily end up released into the environment during production—are the most common types of plastic pollution in oceans and combined with plastic bags, and food containers make up the majority of marine debris which harms aquatic life.
Many plastics end up at landfills causing area reduction. It also clogs the drains causing waterlogging. Some end up being incinerated releasing harmful sulphates, nitrates, carbon monoxides and dioxides which lead to acid rain, breathing problems and global warming. These problems are faced by many people especially the slum areas. Everywhere I used to go; one would see traces of its waste.
Thus to combat this dilemma I proposed an idea known as ‘Pyroprojubridhi’. This conjoined Bangla word is a scheme containing step by step measures to manage the consumption and minimise the effects of plastic pollution. ‘Pyroprojubridhi’ broken down contains pyrolysis of plastics, proper disposal, decrease of production of plastics, and increase the use of jute as a substitute. This scheme has five steps.
First, we approach the government and people of the country and spread awareness against the issue in the form of documentaries, social media and news.
Second, we request polymer and plastic industries such as, Horizon Plastic Industries, Naseem Group, and others to cooperate by slightly decreasing production of additional products such as drinking straws, bags and packages and bottles.
Next, we install collection and recycling bins, along with collection trucks all over the country. Giving proper instructions on disposing plastic and ensuring it occurs by taking assistance from the government. The government may impose laws and form unions with recycling companies such as Bangladesh petrochemical company to ensure better disposal and recycling of plastic.
Then, we work to increase production of jute to supplant plastic. Partnerships two jute companies, Alhaj Jute Mills and Sadat Jute Industries Limited will hopefully lead to increase the yield of jute products
Finally, we seek support to install a pyrolytic plant. It will be set up at a remote area of Savar. It will be a medium scaled factory requiring a land area of 1800 square meters.
In the plant, Plastic is continuously treated in a cylindrical chamber without oxygen at 370C-420ºC, and the pyrolytic gases condensed in a specially-designed condenser system to yield hydrocarbon distillate comprising straight and branched chain hydrocarbons.
The resulting mixture is pyrolytic oil. Pyrolysis gases are condensed and liquid separated using fractional distillation to produce liquid fuel products efficient than diesel making a reliable resource.
This scheme is a mixture of a natural renewable resource, modern technology and human work ethic. It will help in both economic and environmental aspects. In the economic perspective, it flourishes businesses of jute. Also, it helps reducing the unemployment problem.
In an environmental viewpoint, it is giving Bangladesh a reliable fuel resource plus is minimising the waste preventing these harmful effects. In the end, Bangladesh will be able to get out of the plastic dilemma and be highly benefited.
Naeer is a student at Scholastica School. Naeer received a special mention in the Green Genius Competiton