Plastics: A Growing Menace in Dehradun City and a Step Towards its Management

Big cities or small, all have one common pollutant i.e., plastics. Earth5R, an environmental organization based in India launched a project called, ”KNOW YOUR PLASTICS”. This project made citizens aware of different types of
plastics. Earth5r also educate citizens about waste management and segregation. It’s essential for everyone to understand that plastics have different forms which affects environment differently. Recycling plastic as
much as possible can decrease the increasing rate of pollution and global waste.

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Dehradun city, India (source: mapsofindia)

Segregation on the basis of Types of Plastic Waste

A few types, as per the ‘Know Your Plastics’ project have been listed below:

  1. MLP (Multi-Layer Plastics)
  2. PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate)
  3. LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene)
  4. HDPE (High Density Polyethylene)
  5. Tetra packs 
  6. Synthetic fibres

and many more.

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Plastic waste sample collected by Earth5r volunteer, Darshita Gupta

In this project, a volunteer, Darshita Gupta from Dehradun India, travelled through different parts of city in order-to collect, clean and segregate plastics on the basis of MLP(multi-layer plastics), PET(Polyethylene Terephthalate), LDPE((Low Density Polyethylene), HDPE(High Density Polyethylene), Tetra packs, Synthetic fibres and other wastes.

In the time limit of 5 minutes each, she completed all the 10 activities and collected as many plastics as she could. She then segregated the plastics and disposed them properly in nearby dustbins. For this activity all volunteers of Earth5R were trained and educated by the respective leaders so that they can further educate other people and make them aware of plastic segregation and waste management.

Volunteers have successfully made most people aware of some facts like: proper waste disposal, plastic segregation, waste management, afforestation, sustainable environment etc.

Data Analysis of Plastic Waste on the basis of all 10 Activities

  • Out of a total of 425 plastic waste items, about 48.5 % was MLP.
  • Adding to this about 23.8 % was LDPE.
  • Tetra pack was 4.5 % of the total 425 plastic waste items. 
  • PET constituted 8.9 %.
  • Synthetic fiber was 3.3%.
  • Whereas HDPE stood at 3.8 %.
  • And the other waste sample collected was 7.2 %.
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Types of Plastics found in Dehradun

According to data representation of pie chart we can see that the percentage of MLP waste was the highest i.e., 48.5%. MLP consists of three layers: 1. Outer layer 2. Inner layer and 3. Hidden layer. The plastic packets of snacks are contributing the most in plastic pollution. The wrappers and covers of chocolates, snacks, biscuits, cookies, and packets are everywhere. Nearly half of the total percentage of plastic waste was seen to be coming from MLP.

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MLP (Source: packaging 360 degree)

On the other hand, the second highest percentage was of LDPE, which is 23.8%.

LDPE also know as low-density polyethylene is made from monomer ethylene. It is generally used by shopkeepers to sell any type of goods to the customers. Plastic bags can be found anywhere and everywhere. People are very much dependent on them. Every time a customer enters any kind of shop, they return with a big plastic bag in hand. Shopkeepers as well as customers should start avoiding plastic bags. Instead of plastic they could start using paper bags.

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LDPE (source: IndiaMART, polymersolutions)

Becoming Conscious Consumers

Beautiful natural places are visited quite frequently by a large number of people. People generally pollute or throw waste at these places hence, making it dirty. In this way large amounts of plastics are added to the environment. As a result, a heaven like place is turned into a disaster prone area. There is an urgent need to prevent these types of beautiful places getting destroyed. This is the point where one can say that there is a “FAULT IN THE PEOPLE”. People need to be aware of waste and plastic which they dispose in the environment directly.

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These places are visited by less number of people and is not a very famous heritage and unknown to many. As soon as it is visited by many, in not less than a week it will convert into plastic land. This is sad reality. Mostly visited places are the ones with water bodies.

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Jan 31,2020 (source: envirotech_online.com)

 The water here contains large number of plastic wastes which is not decomposed for millions of years. ”AQUATIC LIFE MATTERS”. The aquatic life is in danger because of this. Water plants are covered and interrupted by the plastic waste, which results in improper growth and death of aquatic plants and animals. It is becoming increasingly vital to control the plastic waste disposure. “SAY NO TO  PLASTICS”.

When asked what she thinks of the plastic crisis, she stated, “Plastic is like cancer. It slowly converts a healthy environment into trash land. Protecting the environment is our first priority. It is not your planet or mine, it is ours. Let’s start working together.

Plastic is like cancer. It slowly converts a healthy environment into trash land. Protecting the environment is our first priority

– Darshita Gupta, Earth5R Volunteer

Making Citizens Aware

This is not only our responsibility to clean the environment. This is duty of every citizen to keep their surroundings clean. Maximum citizens are unaware about waste management, plastic segregation, proper waste disposal. Earth5r made a large amount of people aware about waste management.

It is important to educate people about waste management. In order to achieve the goals of sustainable environment, making people aware about waste management is really important. If every house started not only managing waste properly but also start proper waste disposal, then the growth of plastic waste and the pollution caused by it will be decreased very rapidly.

Reported Darshita Gupta; Edited by Krishangi Jasani

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