Plastic: A Boon to Mankind

                                                                      – Puraskar Aryal, ME(2017)


Plastic and its accessories are a boon to mankind. They have a wide range of advantages. If managed properly, they are the resource for development. There is a myth that plastic is a leading source of environment pollution. Plastic and pollution seems synonyms. That is true somehow but we, as an engineer, can make the best use of plastic.

Some myths:

  • All plastic bags are not recyclable.
  • Burning of plastics releases toxic gases.
  • Pollution problem would be solved if plastics are banned.

Those intellectuals who recommend use of paper bags instead of plastics are unaware that it is more hazardous to environment because one needs to fell a tree for an A3 size of paper that means deforestation. Plastic is a substitute to wood & paper saving trees.

Almost all types of plastics are recyclable. Many useful products are fabricated using recycled plastic. 

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Plastics used in day to day life are usually a chain of polymers. On burning, they release carbon dioxide and water. So they do not release any toxic gases. Some plastics used in industry can emit toxic gases on burning but it is a matter of discipline.

Plastics are a unique material that can substitute metal, wood, paper and what not. The substitute of plastics for metal items in automobiles helps you save fuel. Substitution of plastic furniture to wooden ones saves environment from felling trees. Same is the case with paper and we blame plastics for polluting the environment. It is not the plastic but we who are undisciplined in disposing the plastics. Plastics are one material that can be recycled to any number of times.

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Another effective method of the use of plastic waste is Plastic Road which is a new emerging concept. The Plastic Road concept consists of a prefabricated, modular and hollow road structure made from recycled plastic. The prefabricated production, the light weight and the modular design of the Plastic Road make construction and maintenance faster, simpler and more efficient compared to traditional road structures.

Plastics are needed for human survival. Plastics are used by us from toothpaste to bed. Plastic is a valuable resource and they must be properly managed and disposed. A ban to plastic is not a solution but the method of disposal and discipline from us only will reduce the damage to environment.

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