The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) in 2020 published a paper Managing Plastic Waste In India- Challenges and Agenda, where an urgent need to curb plastic waste is expressed. India's current scenario is not the same as the rich world but the problem is rising and as such has become a noticeable concern.
According to a report submitted by the Central Pollution Control board (CPCB) in 2018-19, the total annual plastic generation in India stands at an average of 3.3 million metric tonnes. The 2015 CPCB report on Assessment and Quantification of Plastic Waste Generation in Major Cities, involved the collection of one tonne of municipal waste from 60 cities and studying the quantum variety. it was found that on average 7 per cent of the solid waste was plastic, with the number being higher in major cities. Moreover, a shocking 66 per cent of the plastic waste is comprised of non-recyclable plastics.
To combat the serious situation, the government released the Plastic Waste Management Rules in 2016, defining set conditions for citizens and arcs of the government to meet:
Ban on multi-layered and sachet plastics
Ban on bags made from virgin or recycled plastic of thickness less than 50 microns
Credibility on each level of waste collection, disposal and recycling done by all waste management bodies.
Recycling should be done by the guidelines set by Indian Standards.
The 2020 CSE study suggested certain defined outlook to tackle the plastic problem at hand:
Responsible and timely collection of plastic waste data right from production to recycling.
The study reclaims the 2016 Plastic Management Rules that staked out sachets and multi-layered plastics as the major wastes created, thus stating the urgency to ban them as they aren't recyclable.
Educate the public on the need for recycling and enforce the need to segregate waste at source by local governments.
Promote businesses that involve plastic waste recycling.
Implement the EPR system (Extended producer Responsibility) which involves the word of commitment from the producers to partake in the product right from its production stage to its consumption in the form of recyclable material, to help build up a circular economy.
The rules set in 2016 were put into action by 2018 and certain rules were even diluted. The Plastic Waste Management Rules were amended in 2021. The new set of rules dictates a complete ban on single-use plastics and a circulation of bags with a thickness higher than 75 microns, gradually increasing it to 120 microns by 2022 - increased thickness means higher recyclability.
However, certain aspects not under strict government monitoring make constant neglect a reality when it comes to these rules and thus, truth is overshadowed by negligence. It was not possible to keep track of the thickness of plastic bags circulated in the market nor the ban on the use of sachets, which are still in circulation. Hence, India's 2022 vision regarding plastic waste management is far from being true.
In an attempt to face this growing concern, a Noida, UP based company Kagzi Bottles has come up with its version of paper bottles as a solution to sustainable liquid packaging. These bottles are 100% bio-degradable replacements for single-use plastic bottles.
The bottles are made of waste paper pulp with a cork closure. The Kagzi Bottles Private Limited has tie-ups with INSIGNIA PROJECTS - an innovative packaging solution company situated at Baddi, Himachal Pradesh to manufacture pulp halves. The halves are then coated with a waterproofing solution to create a barrier and allow efficient oxygen transmission. The halves are then glued together using hot press machines. The product is sturdy but not bulky, enabling it a shelf life of about 6 months. The cross-section of a Kagzi Bottle as seen:
01: paper seal - to hold down the cork closure of the bottle.
02: wooden cork top - to enable ample expansion space and efficiently prevent leakage.
03: neck - to hold the shape of the cork top.
04: linking both halves - both halves of the bottle are hot pressed together.
05: waterproofing lining - to create a barrier for withstanding internal pressures.
06: body - a sturdy body made of waste paper pulp.
The Kagzi company is fairly new in its answer to plastic waste management, time being the deciding factor for its success in the Indian field. However, the effort is appreciable and the innovative fully compostable solution is a huge leap towards curbing pollution growth and creating a greener India.
Image and Video Source ~ Kagzi official website.
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