Friday, November 20, 2009


To days world is dominated by plastics made from petrochemicals and it is difficult to imagine a future without plastics around. Use of plastics is directly proportional to the affluence levels of nations and as can be expected, the US is the biggest producer and user of plastics in practically every thing which include food and beverage packing materials, water packing, electronics, building products, water piping and taps, furniture and furnishings, vehicles, planes, toys and medical devices. It is now realized that the world has to pay for its indiscriminate use of plastics as billions of tons of used plastics are floating around or lying in garbage dumps because only an insignificant portion of used plastics is recycled. Since it takes more than 700 years to be destroyed completely, the quantity of used plastics that will accumulate, is bound to increase manifold in the coming years. There may be some substance in the argument that there must be legal control of plastic manufacture, recycling, disposal and development of new plastics.

"Given the proven health threat posed by some plastics, the scattershot and weak regulation of the plastics industry, and the enormous environmental costs of plastics — the plastics industry accounts for 5 percent of the nation's consumption of petroleum and natural gas, and more than 1 trillion pounds of plastic wastes now sit in U.S. garbage dumps — the time has come to pass a comprehensive national plastics control law".

It is shocking that an average US citizen uses about 100 kg of plastics every year and the dependence on plastics there is so strong that a population of 300 million consume more than 30 billion bottles of packed water during an year!. What is galling is every developing country is following the "plastic" path, without realizing the damage it can do in the long run to their people and the environment. If such a trend goes on without being checked now, a day is not far off to see the entire world getting choked with plastics with no way out.

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