Plastics are polymers, chains of molecules produced by smaller molecules called monomers.
Light weight, long durability and comparative low production price have made plastic and
polymer an irreplaceable part of industrial activities. However, they are inert to the microbial
degradation and therefore harmful to the environment in many ways. In the developing
countries like Bangladesh due to low labor cost and less legitimate obstacles plastic recycling
can be a pretty good way to utilize waste non degradable plastics to reduce environment
Nowadays demand of plastic and synthetic products in the
commercial and industrial arena is growing quite enormously,
which patronizes technological advancement, but on the other
hand is proving to be a fatal threat to the environment due to
their non-biodegradable nature. In this poster, we are bringing
forth the consequences to which our atmosphere is exposed
and providing a potential solution based on developing
countries like ours, which is plastic recycling.
Fossil fuels such as
natural gas, oil and
coal are used in
of plastic, emitting
and toxic chemicals.
Plastics are made
cannot be replaced.
occupies large area
in landfill causing
Persistence in the
Most plastic is not
will survive in the
hundreds of years.
breaking down into
smaller and smaller
pieces. Plastic is can
float easily in air and
water, and travel long
Threat to Marine Life: Every year more than 6 million tons of rubbish
are dumped into the world’s oceans. 80% of this waste is plastic, with
an estimated 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile of ocean.
Turtles, whales, and sea birds mistake rubbish for food or get
entangled in it causing painful injuries or even death. It is estimated
that marine rubbish, mostly plastic, is killing more than a million
seabirds and 100,000 mammals every year.
Past Plastic Waste Management:
In the past, solid waste management was merely collection
and disposal. In Sanitary landfill method wastes were brought
to disposal site and leveled. Workers sprayed disinfectant
and insecticide which were mixture of Izol, gamaxene and
antimalarialoil or Dipthroxhas. The waste was covered with
one layer of sand.
Overall, plastics in landfills are fairly inert. The majority of
common polymers are not biodegradable. By contrast, the
amount of plastic waste is growing. Polymers have lower
density; consequently plastic waste takes up a larger volume
for relatively little mass as compared to the other household
and industrial wastes.
Solid Waste Management= Collection + Disposal
Plastics can be collected from different agricultural, industrial, municipal
and commercial areas. It can be collected manually as labour cost is
comparatively low in our country.
Cleaning and Sorting:
Once the plastic has been collected, it will have to be cleaned and
sorted using various techniques suitable for respective purpose.
Size reduction is done to convert waste into small pieces so that they
can be used properly for further processing. Main steps are:
1. Cutting 2. Shredding 3. Agglomeration
Extrusion and Pelletizing:
Polymer pieces are fed into the extruder, are heated to induce plastic
behavior and then forced through a die to form a plastic spaghetti. The
pelletization process is used to reduce the ‘spaghetti’ to pellets which
can then be used for the manufacture of new products.
It is both tough and unacceptable to collect the used
plastic and re-use them after cleaning or washing only.
Reduce means bio-degradation of plastic wastes which
is also quite troublesome considering most of the
plastics are not bio-degradable or very slowly bio-
But, considering the situation in a developing country like
Bangladesh plastic recycling can be very useful for the
Low labour and transportation Cost.
Fewer laws to control the standards of the recycled
Original raw materials are costly
Innovative use of machineries often leads to low entry
costs for manufacture.
Why Recycle Plastic
Not all plastics are recyclable. There are first only 4 of the following 7
types of are commonly recycled:
Contamination of recyclables is a problem because it raises the costs for
collectors, recyclers and the community. Plastic bags, bin liners, and
cling wrap are not recyclable. These plastics can get stuck in the sorting
equipment in recycling facilities causing it to stop or break. Often bottle
tops and lids cannot be recycled with the bottle as they may be made of
a different type of plastic. Polystyrene foam is generally not recyclable.
This includes the spongy black foam trays that meat is often packaged
and takeaway containers and hot drink cups.
PET Polyethylene terephthalate
HDPE High-density polyethylene
PVC Polyvinyl chloride
LDPE Low density polyethylene
It takes 25 two liter plastic bottles to make an adult
The rings from bottlenecks and six-pack holders
need to be cut when you dispose of them to reduce
harm to animals.
The energy saved by recycling one plastic drink
bottle will power a computer for 25 minutes.
4% of oil consumption in Europe is used for the
manufacture of plastic products
Recycling plastic saves twice energy than burning it
in an incinerator.
In summary, recycling is one strategy for end-of-life waste
management of plastic products. It makes increasing sense
economically as well as environmentally and recent trends
demonstrate a substantial increase in the rate of recovery and
recycling of plastic wastes. These trends are likely to continue, but
some significant challenges still exist from both technological
factors and from economic issues relating to the collection of
recyclable wastes, and substitution for virgin material. Recycling of
a wider range of post-consumer plastic packaging will further
enable improvement in recovery rates of plastic waste and
diversion from landfills. Therefore, recycling of waste plastics is an
effective way to improve the environmental performance of the
1. Recycling of Plastic Bottles: Bangladesh Perspectives/M. Serajul Islam,
Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, BUET/Engineering News,
2. UNEP, Marine Litter: A Global Challenge (2009)/
3. Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.
4. Recycle now, www.recyclenow.com/why_recyclin g_matters.html
5. Plastics recycling: challenges and opportunities: Jefferson Hopewell, Robert
Dvorak & Edward Kosior.
6. Fisher M. 2003. Plastics recycling, In Plastics and the environment (ed.
Andrady A., editor. ), pp. 563–627 Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Inter science.
7. Shaxson L. 2009. Structuring policy problems for plastics, the environment
and human health: reflections from the UK. Phil. Trans. R. Sc. B 364, 2141–
8. Fletcher B., Mackay M. 1996. A model of plastics recycling: does recycling
reduce the amount of waste? Resour. Conserv. Recycling 17, 141–151
9. Plastic Recycling-Wikipedia, the free
Md. Mezbah Uddin
Plastic Recycling: Choice is yours- Save it or Waste