Plastic products have become an integral part in our daily life as a basic need. Its broad range of application is in packaging films, wrapping materials, shopping and garbage bags, fluid containers, clothing, toys, household and industrial products, and building materials. However, current levels of their usage and disposal generate several environmental problems.
Plastic are characterized as follows :
A. Recyclable Plastics (Thermoplastics): PET, HDPE, LDPE, PP, PVC, PS, etc.
B. Non-Recyclable Plastics (Thermoset & others) : Multilayer & Laminated Plastics, PUF, Bakelite, Polycarbonate, Melamine, Nylon etc.
As per BIS Codification as notified in Rule 8 (b) of the Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) (Amendment) Rules, 2011, there are seven categories of plastics :
Fig 1 : Categorization of Plastic as per BIS Condition
Impact of Plastic on Environment
Multi-layered Plastic & proposed ban from March 2018 as per 2016 amendment in Plastic Waste Management Rules :
- Environmentally, plastic is a growing disaster. Most plastics are made from petroleum or natural gas; non-renewable resources extracted and processed using energy-intensive techniques that destroy fragile ecosystems.
- The manufacture of plastic, as well as its destruction by incineration, pollutes air, land and water and exposes workers to toxic chemicals, including carcinogens.
- Plastic packaging – especially the ubiquitous plastic bag – is a significant source of landfill waste and is regularly eaten by numerous marine and land animals, to fatal consequences.
- Plastic pollution has the potential to poison animals, which can then adversely affect human food supplies. Some marine species, such as sea turtles, have been found to contain large proportions of plastics in their stomach. When this occurs, the animal typically starves, because the plastic blocks the animal's digestive tract. Marine mammals sometimes become entangled in plastic products such as nets, which can harm or kill them.
Multi Layered (ML) packaging comprises a thin foil of aluminum, which is sandwiched, or laminated in a matrix of paper or plastic layers.As per CPCB, “Multi Layered Packaging” means any material used or to be used for packaging and having at least one layer of plastic as the main ingredients in combination with one or more layers of materials such as paper, paper board, polymeric materials, metalized layers or aluminum foil, either in the form of a laminate or co-extruded structure
Fig 2: Multi Layered Plastic
Multi Layered Packaging waste has been mentioned in Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016, as follows :
- No one shall manufacture Multi Layered Packaging unless they obtain a registration from the State Pollution Control Board
- Manufacture and use of Non- recyclable Multi Layered Plastic if any should be phased out in two years’ time
- Extended Producer Responsibility: Primary responsibility for collection of used multi-layered plastic sachet or pouches or packaging is of Producers, Importers and Brand Owners who introduce the products in the market.