We are becoming technologically advanced everyday and in the process we are producing materials which can actually withstand difficult and sometimes extreme conditions of temperature. This ensures that the products are durable and are convenient to use, giving us complete value for money. This is indeed satisfactory and makes us happy.

Plastic bottles, plastic jars and plastic containers are some of those products which we need and use everyday. We love them for their durability, great looks and convenient use but little do we realize the harm they are capable of causing to our environment.

When we buy cosmetics, we simply fall in love with the lovely jars and containers and often stack them up at homes after use. We forget that at one point of them we will have to get rid of them when these will no longer be useful for us. This is when the main problem arises, though most of us do not even realize.  The main problem is that these plastic bottles, plastic jars and containers do not break naturally.

Colorful plastic rubbish and garbage pile

What happens after you dispose them?

Plastic containers, plastic jar or bottles or any kind of plastic waste will remain wherever you have disposed them. Moisture, soil, air or any climate change has no effect on them and these will not break down naturally. This means they will never dissolve in the surrounding land or in water. This means they are not biodegradable and will keep piling up, thus filling lands and causing a major threat to the environment.

Thousands of plastic waste in the form of plastic jars, plastic bottles and containers are adding to our huge industrial waste everyday, thereby causing landfills and often polluting rivers and oceans. Plastic particles have always been thought to be an immense threat to the environment. Plastic jars and plastic containers can be chewed by marine life, sea turtles and also sea birds who actually mistake these bags for jellyfish. This often chokes them causing immediate death and can also damage their internal organs, leading to slow death. Not just this, plastic waste clogs our drainage system, causing water logging in turn raises hundreds of problems.To tackle such a problem and to bring an immediate pause to growing environmental damage, plastic eating spray was developed by experts, which is mainly focused on management of waste.

However, everything was not as smooth as expected and several problems emerged with this kind of spray.  A new kind of problem emerged when it was discovered by scientists that the waters of seas and oceans were increasingly getting contaminated with a substance called bisphenol. What is it? Well – it is a chemical that is used to manufacture hard plastic products and also epoxy plastic paint which is known to slow down the corrosion on ship hulls. The problems are many related to the use of plastic and their dissolving matters. Thus, to dissolve plastic waste, it was realized that this spray would not be of much use and it would cause more harm to the environment than do any good.

Experts are quite confident that they will be able to come up with a product which will help in shrinking landfills, which are increasingly getting filled by plastic waste. Nate Parkin, who is working on this project says, “We believe we are supplying landfills with a solid triple bottom line product. Not only are there huge environmental benefits, we could potentially be removing hundreds of millions of tons of carbon dioxide per landfill per year, we could also increase jobs and all under a profitable business model. So landfills that use our product (and collect methane) could actually make money. This isn’t a recycling program that could actually be a net loss, this is a very large net gain”

Plastic needs to be dissolved and this has to be tackled in a way which will not cause any harm to the environment while dissolving it completely. Lots of research is being carried out in the process to find the best solution.

Devan Bennion, who is working closely on the issue is quite confident about the progress and says

“We are in the middle of finishing up some tests that will give us the hard data and the proof, but what we’re trying to do is something that hasn’t been heard of in the scientific community before. The chemicals we’re using have been proven to break down plastics, but we have a little different approach and have developed a secret sauce, if you want to think of it that way. No one has ever thought of trying to chemically change waste at a landfill. We are looking to make a change at the landfill (end of product lifecycle), rather than on the production line or at the consumer/household level.”
It’s the time to wait and watch, but be alert at the same time. Yes, we need plastic in our everyday lives but we need to think about the environment too and ensure we do no or little damage to it.
Picture Source: Envato Elements