Introduction

Plastics are artificial organic materials manufactured from the raw resources of oil and natural gas. Plastic is lightweight, water-resistant, extensible, robust, and inexpensive to create. A wide variety of products can be made by melting the primary plastic material into pellets or powder. Plastics are classified as either thermoplastics or thermosets. These appealing characteristics contribute to the excessive consumption of plastic-based goods. Plastic waste recycling as cementitious-based materials, such as cement or concrete mixtures, is a better alternative for plastic waste disposal.

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Why do we use plastic_©Author

Types of Plastic

The term “plastic” was taken from the Greek word “plastikos,” which means “to mould.” Compounds comprising hydrogen and carbon (hydrocarbon) in fossil fuels are building blocks for long polymer molecules. These building blocks are monomers and combine to form long carbon chains known as polymers.

Thermoplastics and thermosets are the two major types of plastics. Soda bottle plastics are a famous example of thermoplastics that can and are widely recycled. Animal horn made of the protein a-keratin softens on heating, is re-shapable, and can be considered a natural, quasi-thermoplastic material. Although naturally and synthetically vulcanized rubbers are elastic, they are elastomeric thermosets, not thermoplastics. Only by using high-volume recycling lines with a capacity of more than 50,000 tonnes per year will chemical recycling of PET become cost-effective. Today, mechanical recycling or direct circulation of PET in its polymeric state is practised in various ways. These types of processes are common in small and medium-sized businesses. Plant capacities within a year can already achieve cost-efficiency.

Thermoplastics Thermosetting plastics
When the plastics can easily be deformed and bent on heating are known as thermoplastics When the plastics cannot be moulded or deformed are known as thermosetting plastics
Toys and containers are made using thermoplastics Handles of utensils and switches are made using thermosetting plastics
PVC is an example of thermoplastics Bakelite is an example of thermosetting plastics

 

 1 – PET

Polyethene terephthalate, or PET, makes plastics in Group One. It is ranked first because of its vast utility. Because of its excellent ability to keep oxygen from entering and damaging the goods inside, it is typically used for food and drink packaging.

2 – HDPE -Technically known as High-Density Polyethylene, it is a resistant resin used for shopping bags, milk jugs, recycling bins, agricultural tubing, playground equipment, lids, and shampoo bottles, among other things. It is significantly more rigid and thicker than PET since it is formed of long unbranched polymer chains. It is also relatively robust and impact resistant and can withstand temperatures up to 120 °C without deterioration. HDPE is one of the most accessible plastic polymers to recycle. Hence it is accepted at the majority of recycling centres across the world.

3 – PVC- Polyvinyl chloride is the world’s third most common synthetic plastic polymer. It is classified into two types: rigid and flexible. PVC is widely utilized in the building and construction industry in its rigid form to manufacture door and window profiles and pipelines (drinking and wastewater). It can be made softer and more flexible by combining it with other substances and applied to plumbing, wiring, electrical cable insulation, and flooring. PVC is replacing traditional building materials such as wood, metal, concrete, rubber, ceramics, and so on in various applications due to its features, such as lightness, durability, and ease of processability.

4 – LDPE -Unlike HDPE, LDPE has low-density molecules, giving this resin a thinner and more flexible design. It has the simplest structure of any plastic, making it simple and inexpensive to create. It is not often recycled through curbside programs because it is used in plastic bags, six-pack rings, various containers, dispensing bottles, and, most notably, plastic wraps.

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Types of plastic _©plasticforchange

Harmful effects of plastic

Plastic pollution in public places fosters unsanitary circumstances by acting as a breeding ground for insects and mosquitoes that transmit diseases such as malaria and dengue.

Plastics do not decompose and thus remain in the soil for many years, affecting soil fertility and degrading soil quality.

When plastic artefacts reach the drainage and sewerage system, they cause waterlogging by clogging the pipes and drains.

When animals consume poorly disposed of food bags, they develop stomach and intestine problems that can lead to choking and death.

Plastic items make their way into rivers and other bodies of water, where they are swallowed by fish, seabirds, and other marine species, resulting in suffocation and death.

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Hazards of plastcic_©Author

Ways to treat plastic

Plastic Roads 

Plastic roads are wholly or partially built of plastic or plastic composites; they differ from typical flexible streets in that they are made of asphalt concrete and mineral aggregates, among other things. Plastic roads are made from discarded plastic that is shredded and melted before being mixed with asphalt and used in road construction. Rajagopalan Vasudevan, an Indian scientist, was the first to invent and patent this technology. He devised a novel way to reuse plastic waste to improve road construction’s strength, durability, and cost-effectiveness. Rajagopalan was the first to develop plastic roads in India, which he used as a combination of asphalt mix and plastic mix, which is used for road construction, so this technique provided a new way of doing things.

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Plastic Road_©IndiaTimes

Plastic Tiles 

 Using microscopic fragments of colourful plastic, plastic waste can be turned into tiles that appear like classic terrazzo tiles. These tiles were utilized in Erik Goksyr and Emily-Claire Goksyr’s Plastic Island concept’s third design. A Delhi-based company has also devised a method for converting plastic trash into environmentally beneficial tiles. These tiles are lightweight, waterproof, and visually appealing. They can be used for wall cladding, roofing, and other applications.

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Plastic Waste Tile_©Archdaily

Plastic Pavilions

The Plastic Pavilion is a 16-square-meter undulating canopy constructed of 1600 recycled plastic bottles filled with coloured water. The multi-coloured mosaic artwork, inspired by stained glass windows, transforms a public space into a tranquil retreat and encourages visitors to slow down and enjoy a sensory experience. The initiative harnesses the power of spectacular architectural design to attract public attention and promote awareness of single-use plastic bottle waste. Meanwhile, a new narrative evolves, intending to eliminate the concept of “waste materials.” The exhibit changes people’s perceptions of ordinary plastics by portraying them as useful, adaptable, and accessible materials that can be used to reshape our built environment imaginatively.

Plastic Pavilion_©futurearchitectureplatform

Art Installation

The cola-bow is a public art piece constructed of over 17.000 recycled plastic bottles braided together to form a shape inspired by the swings in the Coca-Cola logo. The bottles were collected as part of a joint program between colleges in Beijing and Coca-Cola China to give citizens a bottle of Coke for every ten empty ones returned to a recycling location. The gathered throwaway bottles were used to create an entry canopy for the Student Beijing Design Exhibition. By transforming rubbish into a shelter, the installation should also act as a message against plastic pollution. Many of the most suitable products for us are made of plastic. Too little of this plastic garbage ends up in recycling containers. To make matters worse, plastic is highly persistent in the environment, lasting up to 450 years. Surrounded by increasing pollution, the sculpture can also be viewed as a reminder to raise awareness about recycling plastic waste.

Scrap tire waste management

When collecting scrap tires, the value of a tip charge must be determined based on the type and weight of the tires being collected. A “price to collect scrap tires” is a tip charge used to cover material handling expenses. Actual weights and values should be determined based on particular processes and scrap material composition. Historically, the material handling expenses (transportation and processing) have been higher than the value earned when selling recovered rubber. To achieve profitability, a tipping fee (a fee for collecting scrap tires) was required to offset material handling costs.

Ways to treat Scrap tires

First and foremost, we must dispel the idea that there is no market for discarded tires. The challenge is to market or sell 100% of the material recovered from trash tires while remaining profitable. Historically, the material handling expenses (transportation and processing) have been higher than the value earned when selling recovered rubber. To achieve profitability, a tipping fee (a fee for collecting scrap tires) was charged to offset material handling costs. Most persons working in the tire recycling industry are involved in tire collection, sorting, and grading. This procedure entails collecting waste tires from various sources and categorizing them for reuse or recycling.

Tires are classified as follows:

1) Salvable tires can be repaired/retreaded and marketed as used tires or tire casings.

2) Unsalvageable tires: These scrap tires would subsequently be recycled using the following methods:

Tire Scrap Collection

When collecting scrap tires, the value of a tip charge must be determined based on the type and weight of the tires being collected. A “price to collect scrap tires” is a tip charge used to cover material handling expenses. Actual weights and values should be determined based on particular processes and scrap material composition.

Conclusion

To summarise, there is an urgent need to broaden the scope of recycling processes and the usage of plastic garbage, which is discharged into the ocean every second around the world. Nature heals itself as long as it is not tampered with. Recycling plastic will aid in the conservation

 of our natural resources. 1. As the human population grows, so do the requirements of the people. The question is whether there are enough natural resources to meet your wants. What if these supplies run out? This is something we must consider. Plastic is one of the most widely utilized materials on the planet. The majority of the goods we use daily are composed of plastic—for example, water bottles, cups, tables, etc.

Because of these benefits, the use of plastic has grown dramatically throughout the years. To conserve our natural resources, we must begin recycling rubbish. Recycling is simply the process of reusing objects that still have some utility. It is critical to recycle waste to preserve some of our natural resources for future generations. The United States must mandate recycling programs in all private and public places to protect our planet’s future. One of the cornerstones of a sustainable future is recycling. Many products, including paper, cardboard, and cups, are derived from trees.

References:

[1] Ameen Khan, Kaushik Chandrasekhar, M V Deepthi, Pratik Roy, and R R N Sailaja Bhattacharya. “Challenges and opportunities in plastic waste management in India.” Teri The Energy and Resources (2018).

[2] M A Kamaruddin, M A Abdullah, M H Zawawi and M R Zainol. Potential use of Plastic Waste as Construction Materials: Recent Progress and Future Prospect, IOP Conference Series Materials Science and Engineering, 267 01201.

[3] Rupesh Mahajan, T. Z. Quazi. Review Paper on Plastic Waste Management for Smart City, International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, Volume 8, Issue 3, March-2017.

[4] Javeriya Siddiqui and GovindPande, A Review of Plastic Waste Management Strategies, International Research Journal of Environment Sciences ISSN 2319–1414 Vol. 2(12), 84-88, December (2013)

[5] AhmetTurer, Recycling of Scrap Tires, Middle East Technical University, Civil Engineering Dept. Turkey.

[6] Kurt Rechner, Scrap Tire Recycling- A Summary of Prevalent Disposal and Recycling Methods, Berlin, 2008.

[7] Dr. Shailja Vaidya Gupta, A five-point action plan to manage waste effectively, Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, August 2020. Available at: https://www.psa.gov.in/article/five-point-action-plan-manage-waste-effectively/274fectively  | Principal Scientific Adviser (psa.gov.in)

Author

Reetika is an aspiring architect who is inquisitive about stories behind all works of art. She enjoys telling those stories and adding her own spin to them. She strives to write and communicate herself in a way that is informative, simple to read and comprehend for anyone and everyone.

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