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Plastic menace tackled in Assam
When first impression makes the last impression, what can be the perspective of any tourist coming to India? Clean or dirty? Shouldn’t we all be doing our best to prevent such embarrassing situations, which we deliberately posed for ourselves?
IN OUR country plastics waste contributes approximately 0.5 to two per cent by weight of total solid wastes. Besides that discarded plastics are highly visible. Their visibility has been perceived as a serious problem and targets, to manage this solid waste are being made. Many consumable items have short life span and quickly become waste products.. More than half of the discarded plastics are found in the form of packaging. The areas which are frequently targeted for recycling packaging materials, is about 40 per cent of the total consumption of plastics in developed countries. Though, it is not a significant portion by weight but their volume are very much visible and form about 30 per cent of municipal solid waste. The prominent visibility of plastics, in the solid waste resulted in the introduction of little stringent legislation to deal with the problems of plastics solid wastes in developed countries.
 
The crisis of plastic waste management is one of the serious concerns especially in the developed countries.. Similarly, in India it is an imperative need to implement the 6R concepts: reduce, reuse, recycle, recover, repair and regulation. The fact is that all recyclable wastes, whether it is plastics, papers or metals- always provides big business opportunity. Wastes should be taken up as an opportunity rather than a threat. The need of the hour is the introduction of bin culture for managing various wastes and then segregating the wastes for further recycling and then use the latest technical know-how in producing the same or some other products out if it. Further, plastic wastes are taking on new economic importance, not only in terms of revenue, which is generated by the plastic waste treatment and disposal industry; but, also plastic waste have a residual value as a secondary raw material which can be recovered or reused.
 
Guwahati is now all set to have its own Plastic Waste Management Centre (PWMC) at Borgaon, Mouza: Pub Bangsar, Hajo Circle. This centre aims not only to manage the growing plastic menace of Assam but also the entire North East (NE). The per-capita consumption of plastics in our country is, however, much lower than the average global consumption. The significant improvement in the living standards of our country is going to generate more plastics for use , which would ultimately, lead to more plastic waste.
 
Setting up of Brahmaputra Cracker & Polymer Ltd. (Assam Gas Cracker Plant) by thegovernment of India, would enable inestablishing around 500 downstream industries in the NE region. Consequently, consumption of plastics and plastic products is expected to increase in the NE region, which would lead to the generation of more plastic wastes as compared to the other parts of the country. Considering the future requirement, this step of the Indian government is a big gift for the NE region and its beautiful environment. Central Institute of Plastics Engineering & Technology (CIPET) being a national premier institution in the field of plastics engineering and technology, the government of India has sanctioned and entrusted CIPET Guwahati, for setting up PWMC, which is the first of its kind in the country, for preparing models of waste plastic collection, processing, recycling, product development and safe disposal of reusable plastics. The duration of the project is 12 months and is expected to complete and be commissioned around November/December 2008.
 
In the wake of the present deteriorating environmental and climatic conditions due to waste products such as plastic, the setting up of a management centers, of such wastes is a big boon not only in the NE region, but the nation and the world as a whole.   
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