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Introduction to non biodegradable plastic

The wastes which can be broken down to harmless or non-poisonous substances by the action of micro-organisms are called biodegradable wastes. For example, domestic sewage, newspapers and vegetable matter. They undergo rotting. While, the wastes which can not be broken down to harmless or non-poisonous substances by the action of microorganisms are called non-biodegradable wastes. These wastes do not undergo rotting or take a very long time for rotting. For example, polythene bags, plastics, glass, aluminum, iron nails and DDT. Plastics are non-biodegradable objects, and therefore, their disposal poses a big problem. Imagine life without plastics. To understand this, think of items that are made of plastics. Besides items that are made of plastics, polythene bags are used for storage and commonly for carrying vegetables, fruits, clothes etc from the market.

Why Non Biodegradable Plastics are a Problem?

1. Plastic bags thrown carelessly on roads and other places enter and block drains in cities. As a result, drains get choked and the sewer water spills on the road. 2. Stray animals feeding on garbage dumps often eat plastic bags in search of food. These animals are getting killed in many cases. 3. Burning plastic bags cause pollution. 4. Sometimes plastic bags which are used for storing cooked food items are those which have been recycled. Use of recycled plastic bags for keeping food items could be harmful for our health.

Measures for Preventing Non Biodegradable Plastic

 We carry a cloth or a jute bag whenever we go out for a shopping.  Insist on the shopkeeper to give the items purchased in a paper bag rather than a plastic bag.  Do not use plastic bags for storage of food items.  Do not burn plastic bags or other items.  Do not throw plastic bags after use here and there.  Since plastic takes several years to decompose, it is not environment friendly. It causes environment pollution. Besides, when the synthetic material is burnt it takes along time to get completely burnt. In the process it releases a lot of poisonous fumes into the atmosphere and causes air pollution.

Waste-to-energy Incinerator with Pollution Controls


Disposing of waste in a landfill involves burying the waste, and this remains a common practice in most countries. Landfills were often established in abandoned or unused quarries, mining voids or borrow pits. A properly designed and well-managed landfill can be a hygienic and relatively inexpensive method of disposing of waste materials. Older, poorly designed or poorly managed landfills can create a number of adverse environmental impacts such as wind-blown litter, attraction of vermin, and generation of liquid leach ate. Another common by product of landfills is gas (mostly composed of methane and carbon dioxide), which is produced as organic waste breaks down anaerobic ally. This gas can create odour problems, kill surface vegetation, and is a greenhouse gas.

Design characteristics of a modern landfill include methods to contain leachate such as clay or plastic lining material. Deposited waste is normally compacted to increase its density and stability, and covered to prevent attracting vermin (such as mice or rats). Many landfills also have landfill gas extraction systems installed to extract the landfill gas. Gas is pumped out of the landfill using perforated pipes and flared off or burnt in a gas engine to generate electricity.


Incineration is a disposal method that involves combustion of waste material. Incineration and other high temperature waste treatment systems are sometimes described as "thermal treatment". Incinerators convert waste materials into heat, gas, steam and ash. Incineration is carried out both on a small scale by individuals and on a large scale by industry. It is used to dispose of solid, liquid and gaseous waste. It is recognized as a practical method of disposing of certain hazardous waste materials (such as biological medical waste). Incineration is a controversial method of waste disposal, due to issues such as emission of gaseous pollutants. Incineration is common in countries such as Japan where land is scarcer, as these facilities generally do not require as much area as landfills. Waste-to-energy (WTE) or energy-from-waste (EFW) is broad terms for facilities that burn waste in a furnace or boiler to generate heat, steam and/or electricity. Combustion in an incinerator is not always perfect and there have been concerns about micro-pollutants in gaseous emissions from incinerator stacks. Particular concern has focused on some very persistent organics such as dioxins, furans, PAHs which may be created within the incinerator and afterwards in the incinerator plume which may have serious environmental consequences in the area immediately around the incinerator. On the other hand this method or the more benign anaerobic digestion produces heat that can be used as energy.

Deep-Well Disposal

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