How much plastic is in our waste?

Surely so much emphasis on plastic which is just one composition of the total waste which clogs the environment baffles the ordinary men. What is so special about plastic? This blog tries to answer this question and emphasize the need to deal with plastic waste in an urgent basis.

We generate about 242 million tonnes of plastic waste on a quarterly basis and at least 50 percent of the above total is from central Asia (which is highly likely since the population of this region is higher compared to the rest of the world). This is one of the reasons there is a need to focus on plastic waste management. Now imagine 242 million tonnes of a material which will outlive us all in a sense that it will take centuries for it to decompose and in the intervening time it will remain a burden on our environment. Any product whether it is plastic or otherwise is used for its ease and convenience. This is why plastic is still used despite its many detractors and why no waste management system is innovative enough to combat its detrimental effects. We are basically holding the planet hostage to our comfort. But can the whole blame be placed on us? We did not start this blatant use of plastic but rather centuries of practice placed it upon us. Do we have a viable substitute for it? Substitutes for plastic are either not feasible to be applied on a mass scale or they cause more harm to the planet than plastic. Is a proper waste management system designed for it? Not yet. So many questions and yet after so many innovations we have relatively few answers.

Therefore, we need to focus on a viable substitute. But till that distant yet albeit near future comes ,plastic will continue clogging our drains,causing respiratory issues when burned, dissolving into ‘micro plastics’ under the impact of ultraviolet light and what not. In the interim, plastic seems here to stay.

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