While it is true that the amount of plastic garbage produced here is much less as compared to the US and other western countries, India is one of the leading consumers of plastic and contributes significantly to the world’s plastic garbage. Not only is plastic disturbing the ecological balance but is also one of the prominent causes of health issues these days. The crisis in India is not as grave as that in the US but considering the population increase, it won’t take much to emerge as a critical concern. Therefore, it is better to understand the cause of this problem and take precautionary measures.
24,940 tonnes of plastic is dumped every day in India.According to governmental data, India is producing huge amounts of plastic waste that roughly equals 24,940 tonnes per day. As much as 15,000 tonnes of plastic garbage is produced by the cities alone while the rest of it comes from town and rural India. Delhi alone generates 690 tonnes of plastic debris. The data was taken from research conducted by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
Recycling figures for India.The CPCB study is suggestive of the fact that 60 percent of the plastic waste produced in India is recycled. This puts us ahead of the US and Europe but it is not good enough. The rate at which population is rising in India, there will soon be a time that plastic waste will be a critical concern. The biggest source of plastic garbage is plastic bottles. Over a million plastic PET bottles are bought every minute across the world, not all of which are recycled and a good number of them ends up in garbage dumps.
Environmental damage caused by plastic.Nearly 300 million tonnes of plastic garbage is generated worldwide and 8 million tonnes of this goes into water bodies like seas and oceans. India stands at number 12 in the list of countries dumping huge amounts of plastic into the oceans. The top 20 countries in this list, including India, are the source of 83% of the total amount of plastic garbage that enters the oceans. Further, India’s Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers are among the top ten rivers across the globe that carry the maximum amount of plastic garbage. Types of the plastics used in India The plastic used by Indians can be roughly classified into seven categories. These are:
- Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) that is used to make bottles, plastic jars, and containers.
- High-density polyethylene (HDP) is used to manufacture milk bottles, liquid soap and shampoo bottles, and detergent cans.
- Low-density polyethylene (LDP) to make plastic chairs, flooring, tiles, curtains, carrier bags, and bin liners.
- Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is used in making PVC pipes, door and window frames, and automotive parts.
- Polypropylene (PP) is used to make plastic corks, plastic bottle caps, and battery casing.
- Polystyrene (PS) for food packaging, food containers, disposable plastic ware, electronic goods, and toys.
- Polyamides (PA) used in tubing and toothbrush bristles.