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Alabi et al. J Toxicol Risk Assess 2019, 5:021
Volume 5 | Issue 2
Journal of
Toxicology and Risk Assessment
Open Access
ISSN: 2572-4061
Citaon: Alabi OA, Ologbonjaye KI, Awosolu O, Alalade OE (2019) Public and Environmental Health
Eects of Plasc Wastes Disposal: A Review. J Toxicol Risk Assess 5:021.
Accepted: April 10, 2019: Published: April 12, 2019
Copyright: © 2019 Alabi OA, et al. This is an open-access arcle distributed under the terms of the
Creave Commons Aribuon License, which permits unrestricted use, distribuon, and reproducon
in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Alabi et al. J Toxicol Risk Assess 2019, 5:021 Page 1 of 13
DOI: 10.23937/2572-4061.1510021
Public and Environmental Health Eects of Plasc Wastes Disposal:
A Review
Okunola A Alabi1*, Kehinde I Ologbonjaye1, Oluwaseun Awosolu12
1Department of Biology, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria
2Department of Social Studies, Federal College of Educaon, Oyo State, Nigeria
*Corresponding author: Okunola A Alabi, Department of Biology, Federal University of Technology,
Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria
Since 1950 to 2018, about 6.3 billion tonnes of plastics have
been produced worldwide, 9% and 12% of which have been
recycled and incinerated, respectively. Human population
increase and consistent demand for plastics and plastic
products are responsible for continuous increase in the
production of plastics, generation of plastic waste and its
accompanied environmental pollution. We have reviewed
in this paper, the most relevant literatures on the different
types of plastics in production, the hazardous chemical con-
stituents, prevailing disposal methods and the detrimental
effects of these constituents to air, water, soil, organisms
and human health viz-a-viz the different disposal methods.
Papers that reported environmental and public health ef-
fects of plastic constituents but not plastics directly were
also reviewed. Varieties of plastics used in the production of
many consumable products including medical devices, food
packaging and water bottles contain toxic chemicals like
phthalates, heavy metals, bisphenol A. brominated ame
retardants, nonylphenol, polychlorinated biphenylethers,
dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene, phenanthrene etc. An
estimated 8 million tonnes of plastic is yearly released into
the ocean, leading to degradation of marine habitat which
eventually affects aquatic organisms. Long term usage and
exposure of plastics and plastic products to high tempera-
ture can lead to leaching of toxic chemical constituents into
food, drinks and water. Indiscriminate disposal of plastics
on land and open air burning can lead to the release of toxic
chemicals into the air causing public health hazards. This
paper also presents recommendations for global prevention
and control of plastic wastes.
Plastic waste, Environmental contamination, Pollution,
Public health, Toxic chemicals
Plascs are made up of synthec organic polymers
which are widely used in dierent applicaons ranging
from water boles, clothing, food packaging, medical
supplies, electronic goods, construcon materials,
etc [1]. In the last six decades, plascs became an
indispensable and versale product with a wide range
of properes, chemical composion and applicaons.
Although, plasc was inially assumed to be harmless
and inert, however, many years of plasc disposal
into the environment has led to diverse associated
problems. Environmental polluon by plasc wastes
is now recognized widely to be a major environmental
burden [2,3], especially in the aquac environment
where there is prolong biophysical breakdown of
plascs [4,5], detrimental negave eects on wildlife
[6,7], and limited plasc removal opons [5,7,8].
In many instances, sheeng and packaging plascs
are disposed of aer usage, however, because of
their durability, such plascs are located everywhere
and persistent in the environment. Research on the
monitoring and impacts of plasc wastes is sll at the
infancy stage, but thus far, the reports are worrisome.
In human occupaonal and residenal environment,
plascs made of petrol-based polymer are present in
high quanty. At the end-of-life of these plascs, they
are usually land-lled together with municipal solid
waste. Plascs have several toxic constuents among
which are phthalates, poly-uorinated chemicals,
bisphenol A (BPA), brominated ame retardants and
Check for
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Alabi et al. J Toxicol Risk Assess 2019, 5:021 Page 2 of 13
anmony trioxide which can leach out to have adverse
eects on environmental and public health. Plascs
in electronic waste (e-waste) have become a serious
global environmental and public health concern due
to its large producon volume and the presence of
inadequate management policies in several countries.
Reports from China, Nigeria, and India indicated that
plasc hazardous substances from e-wastes can migrate
beyond the processing sites and into the environment
Global Producon of Plascs and Generaon
of Waste
In modern life, plascs are ubiquitous. Its early
usage dated back to 1600 B.C., at the me when human
hands shaped natural rubber and polymerized into
dierent useful objects in prehistoric Mesoamerica
[12]. Diverse usage and manufacturing of plascs and
plasc products began in 1839 when polystyrene (PS)
and vulcanized rubber were discovered [13]. Producon
of bakelite which is the rst truly synthec polymer was
in 1907 in Belgium [14], however, by 1930, bakelite
was everywhere, especially in fashion, communicaon
and electrical and automove industries [15]. It took
a decade aer this for mass producon of plascs to
begin and it has constantly expanded ever since.
As at 2008, the annual plasc producon was
esmated to be 245 million tons globally [16]. At
present, single-use packaging is the largest sector,
accounng for almost 40% of the overall plasc usage
in Europe [17], this is followed by consumer goods,
materials for construcon, automove, electrical and
agriculture applicaons at 22%, 20%, 9%, 6% and 3%,
respecvely [15]. It was esmated in 2015, that the
highest rate of producon is in Asia (with 49% of total
global output, with China as the largest world producer
(28%), followed by North America and Europe at 19%
each. In terms of producon, the rest regions are of
lesser importance although not necessarily in terms of
plasc consumpon [15].
Current World Producon Rate of Plascs
Globally, plasc producon was esmated to be 380
million tonnes in 2018. Since 1950 to 2018, plascs of
about 6.3 billion tonnes have been produced world-
wide, 9% and 12% of which have been recycled and
incinerated, respecvely [18]. Plascs of about 5 mil-
lion tonnes are yearly consumed in UK alone, with only
about one-quarter recycled, and the rest landlled. It
has been suggested by researchers that by 2050, oceans
might contain more plascs than sh in terms of weight
[19]. Yearly, approximately 500 billion plasc bags are
used out of which an esmated 13 million tonnes ends
up in the ocean, killing approximately 100,000 marine
lives [18].
Future Projecon of Producon of Plasc
Plasc producons has increased in twenty-fold
since 1964. Globally, approximately 311 million tonnes
of plascs were produced in 2014, expected to double
in about 20 year me and possibly quadruple by 2050
[20]. Internaonal Energy Agency World Energy Outlook
in 2015 esmated that, the largest applicaon, plasc
packaging (26% of the overall volume), is envisaged to
have connuous strong growth, which might double
within 15 years, with a possibility of fourfold increase
by 2050, to about 318 million tonnes yearly, which is
higher than the whole plasc industry today.
Plasc Types
There are dierent types of plascs based on
Table 1: Types of plastics, their properties and common uses.
Symbols Types of plastics Common uses Properties Recycled into
Soft drinks, water bottles,
containers, salad dressing,
biscuit trays and salad
Clear, tough, solvent resistant,
barrier to gas and moisture, softens
at 80 °C.
Pillow and sleeping
bag lling, clothing, soft
drink bottles, carpeting,
building insulation
High density
polyethylene (HDPE)
Shopping bags, freezer bags,
buckets, shampoo, milk
bottles, ice cream containers,
juice bottles, chemical and
detergent bottles, rigid
agricultural pipe, crates.
Hard to semi-exible, resistant
to chemicals and moisture, waxy
surface, opaque, softens at 75 °C,
easily coloured, processed and
Recycling bins,
compost bins,
Polyvinyl Chloride
Plasticized Polyvinyl
chloride PVC-P.
Cosmetic container,
plumbing pipes and ttings,
electrical conduct, blister
packs, wall cladding, roof
sheeting, bottles, garden
hose, Shoe soles, cable
sheathing, blood bags and
Strong, tough, softens at 80 °C, can
be clear, can be solvent welded.
Flexible, clear, elastic, can be
solvent welded.
Compost bin
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Alabi et al. J Toxicol Risk Assess 2019, 5:021 Page 3 of 13
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), a type of heat-resistant
polymer, is used for packaging fruit juice, cooking oil,
etc. PVC is considered highly toxic due to the presence
of chemical constuents like heavy metals, dioxins, BPA
and phthalates. Depending on non-plascizaon, PVC is
exible due to the presence of phthalates. Phthalates
are harmful to humans. The enre PVC life cycle which
include the producon, usage and disposal are capable
of causing severe environmental and public health risks,
hence, its usage has considerably reduced. However,
due to cost-eecveness and versality, PVC remains
very popular in the producon of consumer goods.
PVC have been reported to cause chronic bronchis,
birth defects, genec changes, cancer, skin diseases,
deafness, vision failure, ulcers, liver dysfuncon and
indigeson [1].
Low-density polyethylene
Low-density polyethylene is heat resistant, fragile,
flexible and rigid. It is commonly used in packaging
of milk, frozen foods and juices. Because the plastic
does not have any component that is harmful to hu-
man body, its usage is termed safe for beverages and
food [1].
Polypropylene, a type of plascs, is strong and
semi-transparent. It is heavier and stronger than
polyethylene. It is used for packaging medicine, yogurt,
ketchup, beverage, etc. Plascs made of polypropylene
have no harmful substances and like polyethylene,
polypropylene containers are considered safe for
humans as packages for food and beverages [1].
their constuents and type of materials used in their
producon. Table 1 shows the dierent types of plascs,
their properes and common uses [21].
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is a type of plasc
which is smooth, transparent and relavely thin. It is also
called stomach plascs. PET is commonly used during
disposable salad dressing, juice, mouthwash, vegetable
oil, cosmecs, so drinks, margarine and water boles
producon, because it is an-inammatory and fully
liquid. PET is also an-air, prevenng entrance of oxygen
into it [1]. Anmony trioxide, an inorganic compound, is
used as a catalyst for the producon of PET and rubber
vulcanizaon [18]. Plascs made from PET must be
prevented from high temperatures so as to prevent the
leaching of some toxic addives such as acetaldehyde,
anmony and phthalates. Anmony is a possible human
carcinogen [1]. Generally, PET is manufactured for single
use only [1].
High-density polyethylene
Worldwide, the most used plasc is polyethylene.
High-density polyethylene is a heat-resistant plasc
produced from petroleum. It is a major constuent of
refrigerators, detergent boles, toys, milk containers,
variees of plasc grocery bags, etc. No phthalates
or BPA is present in high-density polyethylene. High-
density polyethylene container is generally considered
safe for drink and food because it has no reported
health risk even though some studies showed that a
long me exposure of the plascs to sunlight can make
it harmful [1].
Low density
polyethylene (LDPE)
Refuse bags, Irrigation
tubings, mulch lm, cling
wrap, garbage bags,
squeeze bottles.
Soft exible, waxy surface,
translucent, softens at 70 °C,
scratches easily.
Bin liners, pallet sheets
Polypropylene (PP) Microwave dishes, lunch
boxes, packaging tape,
garden furniture, kettles,
bottles and ice cream tubs,
potato chip bags, straws
Hard and translucent, soften at
140 °C, translucent, withstands
solvents, versatile.
Pegs, bins, pipes,
pallet sheets.
Polystyrene (PS)
polystyrene (PS-E)
CD cases, plastic cutlery,
imitation glassware, low
cost brittle toys, video
cases/foamed polystyrene
cups, protective packaging,
building and food insulation
Clear, glassy rigid, opaque, semi-
tough, soften at 95 °C, Affected by
fat, acids and solvents, but resistant
to alkalis, salt solutions, Low water
absorption, when not pigmented is
clear, is odour and taste free.
Special types of Polystyrene
(PS) are available for special
Recycle bin
Other Automotive and appliance
components, computers,
electronics, cooler bottles,
Includes all resins and multi-
materials (e.g. laminates)
properties dependent on plastic or
combination of plastics
Recycle bins
Source: [21].
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Alabi et al. J Toxicol Risk Assess 2019, 5:021 Page 4 of 13
environment might be higher than that of macroplascs
[27-29], although studies and legislaons to manage
plasc polluon are sll inadequate.
Management of Plasc Wastes
Approximately 10% of household waste is plascs
and mostly end up on the landll [30]. Even though
landlling is the commonest waste management con-
venonal approach in many countries, however, scar-
city of space for landlls is becoming a major problem.
For example, historically, landlling was aracve in
the UK because it is relavely cheap and simple with-
out necessarily requiring treatment, cleaning or separa-
on. In 1999, 65% (8.4 million tonnes per annum) of the
overall household waste recoverable plascs were sent
to landll in Western Europe [31], but at present in the
UK, plasc waste landlling is the least favoured waste
management opon. There is a growing environmental
and public health concern about the potenal eects
of landlls because of the types and quanes of tox-
ic chemicals and their potenal for leaching at landll
sites [32]. It is now a government policy in the UK to re-
duce the amount of wastes landlled (e.g. Landll Direc-
ve European Commission 1999/31/EC) which has been
dicult to materialize as an esmated 60% of England’s
municipal wastes is sll sent to the landlls compared to
an esmated of 20% and 37% in Germany and France,
respecvely [33].
Environmental polluon and risks to public health
can be reduced if the landlls are well-managed,
although there are possibilies of soil and groundwater
contaminaon by disintegrated plasc byproducts and
addives that can persist in the environment on long-
term basis [34,35].
Plasc incineraon
An alternave to landlling of plasc waste is
incineraon, but growing concerns exist about the
potenal atmospheric release of hazardous chemicals
during the process. For instance, plasc waste fumes
release halogenated addives and polyvinyl chloride,
while furans, dioxins, and polychlorinated biphenyls
(PCBs) are released from incineraon of plascs into the
environment [36]. The disadvantage of combuson of
plascs is the air polluon caused by the noxious fumes
released into the atmospheres. The combuson heater
of the ue systems is permanently damaged by plascs
during plasc incineraon and the products of this
plasc combuson are detrimental to both humans and
the environment. Compounds of low molecular weight
can vaporize directly into the air thereby pollung
the air and based on their variees, some may form a
combusble mixture, while others may oxidize in solid
Incineraon of plascs is usually accompanied with
Polystyrene, a type of petroleum-based plasc,
contains benzene which is carcinogenic to humans
[1]. Polystyrene is commonly used in the producon
of insulators and packaging materials. Products from
styrene are hazardous to health. Report of Dowty,
et al. [22] showed that a long-term exposure to small
quanty of styrene can be neurotoxic and causing
cytogenec, carcinogenic and hematological eects.
The Internaonal Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)
has categorized styrene as a human carcinogen [1].
Polycarbonates are used for packaging consumer
goods such as reusable boles. It contains BPA. Due to
exposure to high temperature, BPA can be leached from
polycarbonated container into the drink or food stored
in them. Because BPA’s health risk has been reported
in several studies, the usage of polycarbonated plascs
have greatly decreased [1].
Size of plascs: Macro and microplascs
Size of plascs can be used for their classicaon,
aside the plasc types and their chemical composion.
There are two major classicaon of plascs at sea: 1)
Macro (these are plascs higher 20 mm in diameter) and;
2) Micro (plascs which are less than 5 mm in diameter)
plascs. Of these two plasc sizes, the microplascs are
the major pollutants documented for deteriorang the
ecosystem. This microplascs are either produced by
design and are called primary microplascs, or they are
formed as a result of degradaon of macroplasc called
secondary microplascs [23,24].
The major issues in plasc waste centered around
the microplascs due to an increase diculty in their
monitoring and a greater eect at the physical and
chemical levels on environmental and public health,
because of their higher volume-to-surface area rao
[25]. Inadequate waste management and indiscriminate
dumping are the major routes of entry of microplascs
into the marine environment [26]. Direct producon of
microplascs such as plasc pellets is common, as such
are used in fabricang larger items as raw material,
however, microplascs can also be produced through
mechanical disintegraon of larger plascs or plasc
products. This is the case in the breakdown of plasc
ropes to ner laments such as microbers.
Environmental release of large quanes of
microplascs is in form of cosmec products and cleaning
ingredients such as toothpaste and microbeads in face-
wash. Because of the health eects of microplascs,
countries like Canada, USA and others are now phasing
out their usage in certain personal care products.
Reports of recent research suggest that the detrimental
eects of microplascs especially microbeads, micro
plasc bres and degraded macroplascs in aquac
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into usable products is called plasc recycling. Most
plascs are non-biodegradable in nature, hence, the
fundamental work is reducon of waste emissions,
eecve management and recycling of resulng wastes
[38,39]. Recycling of plascs is a major aspect of the
worldwide eorts in minimizing the yearly 8 million
tonnes of plascs in the waste stream entering the
Earth’s ocean [8,40]. According to Hopewell, et al. [30],
plasc recycling terminology is complex due to variees
of recovery acvies and recycling. There are four
main categories of recycling which are: primary (which
involves the mechanical reprocessing of plascs into
a new product with equivalent properes), secondary
(which involves the mechanical reprocessing of plascs
into a product with lower properes), terary (which
involves the recovery of the chemical constuents of
the plascs) and quaternary (which involves energy
recovery from the plascs).
In comparison to the lucrave metal recycling but
similar to the low value of glass recycling, recycling of
plascs is oen more challenging because of low densi-
ty and low value. Also, there are several technical issues
to deal with when recycling plasc. Melng together
of dierent plasc types oen cause phase-separaon
similar to oil and water, and they set in these layers. The
resulng phase boundaries is responsible for structural
weakness in the nal product(s), which has limited the
applicaon of this polymer blends. This is the case with
polyethylene and polypropylene, which are the two
plascs commonly manufactured, and therefore has
limited their use for recycling. Of recent, block copoly-
mers has been proposed as a form of macromolecular
welding ux [41] or molecular stches [42] in other to
overcome this challenge of phase-separaon during
the formaon of chark, and the coking extent is depen-
dent on the condions of incineraon [37]. Gaseous
release in the process of plasc and plasc composite
products incineraon are very dangerous. For exam-
ple, Table 2 shows the compounds release during the
incineraon of PVC and the health eects of these com-
pounds. In the process of incineraon of plascs, soot,
ashes and dierent powders are produced, which even-
tually seles on plants and soil, with the potenal to
migrate to the aquac environment. Rainfall can make
some of these toxic compounds to sink into the soil,
contaminate the ground water or absorbed by plants
growing on this soil, thus, becoming incorporated into
the food chain. Some of these plasc incineraon prod-
ucts can chemically react with water and the resulng
compounds can alter the pH thereby change the func-
oning of aquac ecosystems.
Due to the potenal polluon impact on the
environment, plasc incineraon is less employed for
waste management in comparison to recycling and
landlling. Notable excepons to this are European
countries like Sweden and Denmark, as well as Japan,
with massive incinerator facilies for managing
municipal solid waste including plascs. However,
countries like Hungary has enacted regulaons, 29/2014.
(XI. 28.) Regulaon of the Ministry of Agriculture on
waste incineraon, which allow for only licensed plasc
waste incineraon plants to incinerate plascs, while all
other forms of burning plasc waste are banned [37].
An advantage of plasc incineraon is the recovery of
energy from the plasc wastes [30].
Recycling of plascs
Reprocessing of recovered plasc scraps or wastes
Table 2: Compounds generated during the incineration of polyvinylchloride and their harmful effects.
Compound Health effect(s)
Acetaldehyde It damages the nervous system, causing lesions.
Acetone Irritates the eyes, the respiratory tract.
Benzaldehyde Irritates the eyes, skin, respiratory system, limits brain function.
Benzole Carcinogenic, adversely effects the bone marrow, the liver, the immune system.
Formaldehyde Serious eye damage, carcinogenic, may cause pulmonary oede ma.
Phosgene Gas used in the WWI. Corrosive to the eyes, skin and respiratory organs.
Polychlorinated dibenzo-dioxin Carcinogenic, irritates the skin, eyes and respiratory system. It damages the circulatory,
digestive and nervous system, liver, bone marrow.
Polychlorinated dibenzofuran Irritates the eyes and the respiratory system, causes asthma.
Hydrochloric acid Corrosive to the eyes, the skin and the respiratory tract.
Salicyl-aldehyde Irritates the eyes, the skin and the respiratory tract. It can also affect the central nervous system.
Toluene Irritates the eyes and the respiratory tract, can cause depression.
Xylene Irritates the eyes. It can also affect the central nervous system, reduces the level of
consciousness and impairs learning ability.
Propylene Damages the central nervous system by lowering of conscious ness.
Vinyl chloride Carcinogenic, irritating to eyes, skin and respiratory system. Effect on the central nervous
system, liver, spleen, blood-forming organs.
Source: Nagy and Kuti [36].
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Alabi et al. J Toxicol Risk Assess 2019, 5:021 Page 6 of 13
Land Polluon
In human occupaonal and residenal environment,
plasc products are present in large volume. Polluon
by plascs and plasc products can damage and con-
taminate the terrestrial environment and can be subse-
quently transferred to the aquac environment. There
is a shortage of data on the volume of plasc wastes on
land in comparison to the voluminous data which exist
on plasc debris in marine habitat, despite the fact that
about 80% of plasc waste present at sea originates
from land-related sources [55]. Dumping of plascs on
land or landlling plascs leads to abioc and bioc
degradaon of the plascs, where plasc addives (e.g.
stabilizers, harmful colorant moiees, plascizers and
heavy metals) can leach and eventually percolate into
various aspects of the environment, thereby causing
soil and water contaminaon. Reports have shown that
microplascs [56] as well as synthec polymer bres are
sll detectable ve years aer they have been applied
to sewage sludge and soils [57]. Chlorinated plascs
are capable of leaching out toxic chemicals into the soil
and subsequently seep into the underground water or
surrounding aquac system thereby pollung the eco-
system. Methane, a dangerous greenhouse gas, which
signicantly contributes to global warming is released
during microbial biodegradaon of plascs [58].
Water Polluon
Approximately 165 million tonnes of plasc wastes
were esmated to be present in the oceans of the world
in 2012 [59], while an average of 8 million tonnes of
plascs are annually released into the ocean [8], with
about 5 trillion plasc pieces oang on the ocean [60].
Typically, plascs in the oceans can degrade within a
year but not completely. During this plasc degradaon
process, toxic chemicals like polystyrene and BPA
can be released into the water [59] causing water
polluon. Wastes found in the oceans are made up of
approximately 80% plascs. Plasc debris which are
oang on the ocean can be rapidly colonized by sea
organisms and due to persistence on the ocean surface
for a long period of me, this mayaid the movement
of ‘alien’ or non-nave species [61-63]. Contaminants
from microplascs are bioavailable for many marine
lives because of their presence in benthic and pelagic
ecosystems and their small sizes [64]. Within the marine
ecosystem, plascs have been reported to concentrate
and sorb contaminants present in the seawater from
dierent other sources. Examples of such contaminants
are persistent organic pollutants like nonylphenol,
PCBs, dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) and
phenanthrene, with potenal to accumulate in several
fold on the plasc debris compared to the surrounding
seawater [65]. More than 260 species of marine
organisms such as turtles, invertebrates, seabirds, sh
and mammals ingested or are entangled in or with
plasc debris, leading to reduced movement, feeding,
plasc recycling [43].
There can be increase in the percentage of plascs
with the possibility of full recycling instead of the
large quanty generated as wastes if package good
manufacturers reduce their mixing of packaging
materials and eliminate contaminants. In view of this,
a design guide has been issued by the Associaon
of Plascs Recyclers for recyclability of plascs [44].
There has been an increase in the volume of post-
consumer plascs recycled since 1990, although it is sll
incomparable to other items like corrugated berboard
(approximately 70%) and newspaper (approximately
80%) [45]. For example, in US, the post-consumer
plasc wastes generated in 2008 was approximately
33.6 million tons, out of which 6.5% (2.2 million tons)
were recycled, while 8% (2.6 million tons) and 86% (28.9
million tons) were burned and landlled, respecvely
Some governments use policy to encourage
postconsumer recycling, such as the EU Direcve
on packaging and packaging waste (94/62/EC). This
subsequently led Germany to set-up legislaon for
extended producer responsibility that resulted in the
die Gru¨nePunkt (Green Dot) scheme to implement
recovery and recycling of packaging. In the UK, producer
responsibility was enacted through a scheme for
generang and trading packaging recovery notes, plus
more recently a landll levy to fund a range of waste
reducon acvies. As a consequence of all the above
trends, the market value of recycled polymer and hence
the viability of recycling have increased markedly over
the last few years, Globally in 2015, about 9% of the 6.3
billion tons plasc wastes generated had been recycled,
while 12% and 79% were incinerated and landlled,
respecvely [14]. However, in 2016, the global rate
of recycling grew to about 14% of the total generated
plasc waste [47]. Major contributors to this increment
include countries like Japan, where plasc waste
recycling rose from 39% (1996) to 83% (2014) according
to their Plasc Waste Management Instute [48].
Environmental polluon by plasc wastes
Distribuon of plasc waste is associated with hu-
man populaons. Increase in human populaon has led
to increase demands for plascs and plasc products.
Indiscriminate disposal of wastes from plascs and plas-
c products can lead to environmental polluon which
is evident in several ways including environmental nat-
ural beauty deterioraon [49], entanglement and death
of aquac organisms [50,51], sewage system blockage
in towns and cies especially in developing countries
[52], resulng in creang conducive environment for
breeding mosquitoes and other disease causing vectors
and producon of foul smells [53], reducon in water
percolaon and normal agricultural soils aeraon thus
causing reduced producvity in such lands [54].
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Most animals in the oceans mistaking plasc wastes
dumped in the ocean for food, thereby ingesng them.
Furthermore, entanglement in plasc products like nets
can cause harm, damage and even death in marine
animals. Reports have shown that more than 260
dierent species of vertebrate and invertebrate animals
ingest plascs or are entangled by plasc or plasc
products, with more than 400,000 deaths of marine
mammals [69]. Marine polluon by plasc wastes
majorly aects sea turtles and other species whose
main food are jelly shes because they oen confuse
discarded plasc bags for jelly sh. A similar situaon
is common in sea birds which can confuse microplascs
for culesh or with shes, which can mistake plasc
wastes for their natural prey [63]. Ingeson of plasc
wastes is capable of causing obstrucon and physical
damage to bird’s digesve system, reduce the digesve
ability of the system leading to starvaon, malnutrion
and eventually, death.
Many birds, turtles, shes, seals and other marine
animals have died by drowning or suocaon as a
result of entanglement in plasc debris. Entanglement
has been observed to cause health risks in esmated
243 species of marine lives, oen ending in fatalies.
Animal entanglement by plasc debris also contributes
to death from predators, as the animals are unable
to untangle themselves and escape [71]. Coral reefs
have been damaged by dragging nets and other plasc
products along sea beds [63]. Oen mes, discarded
shing nets also called “ghost nets” trap marine
animals, leading to starvaon and death. Table 3 shows
the eects of dierent types of plascs on animals and
the mechanism(s) of acon.
reproducve output, ulcers, laceraons and eventual
death [63,66].
Air Polluon
Carbon dioxide and methane are released into the
air when plasc wastes which were landlled nally
decompose. During the decomposion of solid waste in
landlls in 2008, an esmated CO2 equivalent (eqCO2)
volume released into the atmosphere was 20 million
tonnes. CO2 is also released into the atmosphere during
the burning of plascs and plasc products, and this CO2
is capable of trapping radiant heat and hinder it from
escaping from the earth causing global warming [67].
Air polluon is one of the major environmental threats
to public health, and it is responsible for more than 6
million deaths associated with environmental polluon
[68]. Open burning of plascs and plasc products
releases pollutants such as heavy metals, dioxins, PCBs
and furans which when inhaled can cause health risks
especially respiratory disorders. The role of plascs in
air polluon in the developing and poor countries of the
world cannot be overemphasized, and the impact on
the future generaons may be massive [68].
Eects of Plasc Wastes on Animals
Food supplies for human consumpon can be
adversely aected if animals are poisoned by toxic
constuents from wastes of plascs and plasc products
[69]. Indeed, report of threat to survival of large marine
mammals have been documented due to large amount
of plasc wastes entering the world oceans [70].
Animals are exposed to plasc wastes majorly
through ingeson and entanglement, however,
ingeson is more frequent than entanglement.
Table 3: Effects of plastic wastes on animals and their mechanism(s) of action.
Species Specie variant Plastic type Effects
Sea Bird Greater Shearwater Plastic bottle cap Starvation due to gastrointestinal obstruction
Magellanic penguin Fragments, line and straws Stomach perforation
Sea Turtles Green sea turtles Plastic bags and other debris Impediment of hatchling movement towards the sea,
exposure to predators
Leatherback turtle Plastic bags and debris Blocked and injures cloaca, impedes laying of eggs
Bigeye tuna Fragment line Ingestion of plastic fragments
Japanese medaka Particulate plastic Hepatic stress from exposure to plastic pollutant
Orchid dottyback Plastic bags Leached nonophenol additives caused mortality
Larva Perch Microplastic particles Inhibited hatching, decreased growth rate and
altered behavior
Mammals Fur seal Plastic particles Bioaccumulation of particulate plastic from prey sh
Sperm Whale Plastic bags and debris Stomach rupture and starvation
Australia Sea lion Plastic shing gear Entanglement caused mortality
Urchin larva Polyethylene pellets Plastic leachates caused abdominal development
Mussels Microplastic particles Accumulation of microplastic in circulatory system
Oyster Microplastic particles Interference with energy uptake and reproduction
Norway lobster Plastic strands and particles Ingestion and accumulation of plastics in the gut
Source: Worm, et al. [15].
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basic items that can breakdown plasc polymers, expo-
sure of the plasc container to high temperature, and by
repeated washing of the plasc container [77,78]. BPA
is an endocrine disruptor which mimics oestrogen in fe-
males. Women exposed to BPA have damaged health
system such as polycyclic ovarian syndrome, obesity,
recurrent miscarriages, endometrial hyperplasia and
sterility [79-81]. BPA alters thyroid hormone axis gene
expression, thereby altering its biological funcons like
metabolism and development. Also, BPA increases thy-
roid hormone receptor transcriponal corepressor ac-
vity causing a decreasing in thyroid hormone receptor
acvity. This alteraon to thyroid axis causes hypothy-
roidism [82]. Exposure of children and women of repro-
ducve age to elevated concentraon of BPA is of great
public health concern because of the higher vulnerabil-
ity of children and developing foetus to BPA compared
to adults exposed to similar concentraon [83]. Studies
have reported a strong associaon between the con-
centraon of urinary BPA and liver enzyme abnormal-
ies, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes [84].
Also, BPA associated neuro-behavioural disorders (e.g.
ausm),male’s abnormal urethra/penile development,
female early sexual maturaon and increase in hormon-
ally-mediated cancers (e.g. breast and prostate cancers)
have been reported [85-87].
Phthalates, also called 1, 2-benzenedicarboxylic
acids, consist of a diverse groups of diesters of phthalic
acid which are produced in large volumes from the
1930s. In industrial applicaons, parcularly in the
manufacture of food packaging, raincoats, medical
devices, toys, hoses, vinyl ooring and shower
curtains, high molecular weight phthalates (e.g. di(2-
ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP)) are commonly used [88-
90]. Phthalates with low molecular weight especially
Public Health Eects of Plasc Wastes
It is generally believed that plasc polymers are
lethargic and of lile concern to public health, however,
dierent types of addives and the residual monomers
possibly retained from these polymers are responsible
for the suspected health risks [72]. Most of the addives
present in plascs are potenal carcinogens and
endocrine disruptors [18]. Ingeson, skin contact and
inhalaon are the main routes of exposure of humans
to these addives. Dermas have been reported
from skin contact with some of the addives present in
plascs [73]. Microplascs are major contaminants that
can bioaccumulate in the food chain aer ingeson by a
wide range of freshwater and marine lives leading to a
public health risk [74]. Human consumpon of animals
exposed to microplascs and plasc addives can be
detrimental. Biomonitoring studies on human ssues
have shown that plasc constuents persist in human
populaon through the measurement of environmental
contaminants [73].
Public Health Eects of Plasc Addives
Dierent addives are used in the producon of
plascs and they have been reported to have various
detrimental eects on humans. Table 4 shows the
dierent types of addives use in plasc producon,
their eects and the types of plascs [75].
Bisphenol A (BPA)
Inner linings of food cans, reusable water boles,
and baby boles are manufactured using BPA. In 2003,
an esmated global output of BPA was greater than 2.2
million metric tonnes annually [76]. As a result of re-
peated usage of beverage and food containers over a
long period of me, BPA molecules can leach from the
plascs into the drinks and food. The process of BPA
leaching from plascs is accelerated by storing acidic or
Table 4: Different additives used in plastic production, their effects and the plastic types.
Toxic Additives Uses Public health effect(S) Plastic types
Bisphenol A Plasticizers, can liner Mimics oestrogen, Ovarian
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC),
Polycarbonate (PC)
Phthalates Plasticizers, articial fragrances Interference with testosterone,
sperm motility
Polystyrene (PS),
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
Persistent Organic
Pollutants (POPs)
Pesticides, ame retardants, etc. Possible neurological and
reproductive damage
All plastics
Dioxins Formed during low temperature
combustion of PVC
Carcinogen, interferes with
All plastics
Polycyclic aromatic
hydrocarbon (PAHs)
Use in making pesticides Developmental and reproductive
All plastics
Polychlorinated biphenyls
Dielectrics in electrical equipment Interferes with thyroid hormone All plastics
Styrene monomer Breakdown product Carcinogen, can form DNA
Nonylphenol Anti-static, anti-fog, surfactant (in
Mimics oestrogen PVC
Source: [76].
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ed with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) for the last-
70years, parcularly in seabirds [104]. PCBs ingeson
may cause reproducve disorders, enhance disease pro-
liferaon, alters hormone levels and death [104,105].
PCBs can contaminate marine food web through the
plasc bits and it has been shown that PCB is detrimen-
tal to marine life even at very low concentraons [106].
The study of Ryan, et al. [107] showed the presence of
PCBs in the ssue of great shearwaters (Punus gravis)
aer ingeson of plasc parcles.
Recommendaons on Reducon and Control
of Plasc Wastes
Many countries are laboring on controlling
environmental polluon by plasc wastes by reducing
plascs and plasc product’s producon, prohibion
of excessive packaging, lier capture and recycling.
In the struggle against plasc polluon, the following
recommendaons might be helpful:
Policy making
To combat and curb persistent environmental
polluon by plascs, there is need for realisc policies
which must be properly followed and enforced.
This should include the need for global convenon
on environmental polluon by plascs to mandate
plasc producers to declare all ingredients in their
plasc products and put a warning on the products
for consumers about the potenally health eects
of such constuents. Policies to classify some of the
harmful ingredients in plasc products should be
enacted. Successful precedents exist including the
1989 reclassicaon of chlorouorocarbons (CFCs) as
hazardous (Montreal Protocol) and persistent organic
pollutants in 2004 (Stockholm Convenon) [107].
This led around 200 countries to completely stop the
producon of CFCs in the next 7 years and 30 other
dangerous chemicals.
This type of reclassicaon might also smulate re-
search into new and harmless alternaves, which will
improve our plasc waste management, and hinder
connuous buildup of plasc wastes in the environ-
ment. It is also important for government to enforce
and implement regulaons that will check producon,
consumpon, usage and eventual disposal of plascs,
irrespecve of their hazardous status. The 3Rs: Reduce,
Reuse, and Recycle must be employed at all stages so as
to prevent zero diversion to landlls and indiscriminate
disposal to the environment [108].
Plasc waste management and recycling
In reducing toxic eects of plasc wastes on the
environment and public health, waste management
plays a major role. For global reducon of plasc liers
and ocean polluon, there is need for improvement in
proper plasc waste collecon, treatment and disposal
[8]. Inadequate management of landlls will make way
dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and diethyl phthalate (DEP)
are used as solvents in the manufacture of products
such as lacquers, coangs, varnishes and personal-care
products (e.g. cosmecs, perfumes and loons) [91].
Lack of chemical bound between phthalates and the
plasc matrix makes it easy for phthalates to leach out
and contaminate the environmental [92,93]. Due to the
presence of phthalates in many consumer goods, there
is widespread human exposure to phthalate.
Phthalates are endocrine disruptors with an-
androgenic acvity [94]. Children and infants are
mostly exposed to phthalates because of their frequent
mouthing of objects like plasc toys and ngers,
and direct skin contact with phthalate contaminated
substances. Ingeson of phthalates in breast milk,
cow milk, or food packaging materials are the main
routes of exposure in breast feeding infants [95]. Using
personal care products frequently can increase the rate
of exposure to phthalates of low molecular weight,
indeed, report have shown that men who recently
used aershave and cologne have increased phthalate
exposure, while infants that used certain infant-care
products such as shampoos, loons and powders
also showed increased exposure [96]. High phthalate
concentraon alters hormone levels thus causing
birth defects in rodents exposed to certain types of
phthalates. Butyl benzyl phthalate have been reported
to cause rhinis and eczema in children and has been
classied as possible class-Chuman carcinogen in the
1986 US EPA guidelines [96].
Brominated ame retardant
In the producon of plascs, brominated ame
retardants are raw materials used for safety purposes.
The most commonly used brominated ame retardants
in plasc producon are tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA)
and polybrominateddiphenyl ethers (PBDEs). These are
present in a variety of plasc products such as electronic
thermoplascs (e.g. computers, phones and televisions)
and texles [97]. About 5-30% by weight of plasc
products are PBDEs and they are not chemically bound
to the polymer making it possible for PBDEs to leach
out and contaminate surrounding environment [98].
PBDEs and TBBPA are hormone disruptors, altering the
acvies of thyroid hormones and oestrogen, thereby
causing impaired development of both the nervous
and reproducve systems [93]. Plasc materials which
contain TBBPA have been reported to leach TBBPA
[99], and contaminang sewage sludge [100], sh, bird,
sediments, soils [101] and air [102]. High concentraon
of PBDEs have been observed in serum, breast milk and
adipose ssue in exposed individuals. On a pro-kilogram
basis, children have a higher exposure rate to PBDEs
than adults [103].
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
Marine food web has been connuously pollut-
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Alabi et al. J Toxicol Risk Assess 2019, 5:021 Page 10 of 13
and public health eects can be handled if globally,
manufacturers can embrace the use of bioplascs.
The biodegradability with lile or no toxic products
le behind will go a long way to protect our natural
environment from the menace of convenonal plasc
wastes, protect our world’s organisms and make the
world safer for humans.
Researches on worldwide producon of plascs
and the accompanied environmental polluon have
shown that plasc wastes have constuted a major
environmental issue. The eect of plasc wastes on
marine organisms, humans and the environment at
large is of public concern, and calls for the need to
salvage the ecosystems and lives therein. Despite the
fact that plascs are very useful in everyday life, the
toxic chemicals used in the producon need to be
thoroughly monitored so as to ensure environmental
and health safety. Reducing community’s exposure to
toxicants from plasc wastes will increase the chances
of having a clean environment and healthy society.
There is a urgent need for government agencies and
health authories to enact and enforce environmental
laws that will monitor producon, usage and disposal of
plascs. In addion, some harmful chemical constuents
used in the producon of plascs (e.g. phthalates, BPA,
etc) should be banned in consumer goods and in plasc
products that are in direct contact with food, beverages
and children.
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Rahman MD, et al. (2018) Toxic effects of plastic on human
health and environment: A consequences of health risk
assessment in Bangladesh Inter J Hlth 6: 1-5.
2. Rochman CM, Browne MA, Halpern BS, Hentschel BT,
Hoh E, et al. (2013a) Policy: Classify plastic waste as
hazardous. Nature 494: 169-171.
3. Joint Group of Experts on the Scientic Aspects of Marine
Environmental Protection (GESAMP) (2016) Sources, fate
and effects of microplastics in the marine environment: Part
Two of a Global Assessment. Int Mar Org, London.
4. Derraik JG (2002) The pollution of the marine environment
by plastic debris: A review. Mar Pollut Bull 44: 842-852.
5. Thompson RC, Olsen Y, Mitchell RP, Davis A, Rowland SJ
(2004) Lost at sea: Where is all the plastic?. Science 304:
6. Kaiser J (2010) The dirt on ocean garbage patches. Science
328: 1506.
7. Wilcox C, Van Sebille E, Hardesty BD (2015) Threat of
plastic pollution to seabirds is global, seabirds, pervasive
and increasing. PNAS 38: 11899-11904.
8. Jambeck JR, Geyer R, Wilcox C, Siegler TR, Perryman M,
et al. (2015) Plastic waste inputs from land into the ocean.
Science 347: 768-771.
9. Sepulveda A, Schluep M, Renaud FG, Streicher M, Kuehr
R, et al. (2010) A review of the environmental fate and
effects of hazardous substances released from electrical
for harmful chemicals in plasc wastes to leach into the
environment, pollung the soil, air and underground
Proper wastewater management will prevent
microplascs from entering the environment from the
landlls. Most treated wastewaters are discharged
into rivers or oceans, therefore, there is need for a ban
such as Annex V to the Internaonal Convenon for
Prevenon of Polluon from Ship (MARPOL) agreement,
which will prevent plasc waste disposal into the sea
Educaon and public awareness
Eorts must be made to educate the general popu-
lace on the potenal environmental and public health
eect of polluon by plasc wastes. This will go a long
way to reduce the polluon rate and preserve the qual-
ity of the environment. There is need for people to be
aware of the chemical constuents of plasc products
and their health eects. Educaonal curriculums at dif-
ferent levels must include ways of plasc polluon re-
ducon and waste management systems as informaon
Bioplascs as alternave
Bioplascs is a plasc produced from cellulose
that is made of wood pulp by a Brish chemist in the
1850s. Now, bioplascs can be produced from dierent
biodegradable and non-biodegradable materials
including weeds, hemp, plant oil, potato starch,
cellulose, corn starch, etc. [111]. Sugar-based bioplascs
can biodegrade under normal condions for composng
[18]. Bioplascs are environmentally friendly since they
require less fossil fuels during producon in comparison
to other types of plasc [111].
Although bioplascs have been used commercially in
just few applicaons, they are widely used in consumer
goods for items that are disposable like cutlery, bowls,
pots, crockery, straws and packaging [112]. In principle,
bioplascs can replace petroleum-derived plascs in
many applicaons, however, the problem lies with
the cost and performance of bioplascs. If there are
no specic regulaons globally to limit the use of
convenonal plascs, there may be no favourable usage
of bioplascs. For example, Italy has since 2011 enacted
law that made it compulsory for biodegradable plasc
bags to be used for shopping [113]. In the producon
of bioplascs, substute for fossil fuel resources like
wood, cellulose, sugar and starch are used. This has
made bioplasc producon more sustainable and
environmentally friendly in comparison to convenonal
plasc producon [114]. The producon of bioplascs
decreases consumpon of non-renewable energy and
reduces the emission of greenhouse gases [114].
We believed that the problem of plasc waste
generaon and the accompanied environmental
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... Plastic is the ideal material for a wide range of applications because of its low cost, stability, durability, and high mechanical and thermal properties. However, due to their inability to degrade, materials composed of plastic are widely used, which poses a concern on a global scale (Alabi et al. 2019). Recycling is the only method for dealing with plastic trash. ...
Full-text available
Microorganisms produce copious macromolecules, many of which harbor tremendous biotechnological potential. One such macromolecule is polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA). It is a key substance formed as inclusion bodies by bacteria to accumulate, and reserve growth materials while confronting various stress conditions. PHA is chosen as an alternative for the production of biodegradable polymers due to their quick degradability under natural environmental conditions. The objectives of this study were to identify prospective PHA-producing bacteria and quantify the PHA production. Among 12 isolates that were isolated along the Tithal region, Gujarat; 4 PHA accumulating isolates were selected and evaluated their potential to accumulate PHB granules within the cells. TS-1, TW-4, TW-9, and TS-16 were able to accumulate 38.94%, 40.0%, 34.61%, and 59.19% PHAs respectively. The bacteria were screened using the Sudan Black B method while for confirmatory screening Nile Red method was carried out. PHA was extracted using the sodium hypochlorite method. Fourier transform-infrared (FTIR) confirmation results of the extracted and crude PHA identified its functional units as CH 2, CH 3 , C-O, C = O, and alkyl halide groups. Research into the development of environmentally friendly biopolymer materials has been sparked by the global reliance on petroleum byproducts for the manufacture of plastics, the lack of disposal space, and growing environmental concerns over non-biodegradable synthetic plastics. In light of this, research has focused on the synthesis of polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB), one of the PHAs that has received the most attention.
... Pengelolaan sampah dengan melibatkan partisipsi masyarakat dengan tingkatan usia yang berbeda dan perilaku yang berbeda perlu dilakukan agar mendukung percepatan pencapaian target pengurangan dan penanganan sampah rumah tangga dan sampah sejenis sampah rumah tangga di kota Medan. 9 Metode intervensi yang tepat terkait dengan usia perlu diperhatikan. Pengelolaan sampah lintas generasi khususnya gen X (usia kelahiran kelahiran tahun 1965-1980) karena pada rentang usia ini perubahan perilaku signifikan ke arah positif. ...
Latar belakang: Sebanyak 2.000 ton sampah per hari dihasilkan di kota Medan pada tahun 2022, dimana 14,7% komposisi sampah adalah plastik. Sampah yang tidak dikelola akan merusak estetika lingkungan, dan menjadi sumber penyakit dan tempat berkembang biaknya vector. Penelitian ini bertujuan menganalisis hasil intervensi pengelolaan sampah plastik pada generasi X.Metode: Jenis penelitian adalah analitik dengan design cross sectional. Responden adalah generasi X usia di atas 40 tahun sejumlah 94 kepala keluarga dipilih secara purposive sampling. Analisis data secara kuantitatif menggunakan Uji Mc Nemar, dan Uji Wilcoxon.Hasil: Model intervensi keluarga binaan generasi X melalui binasuasana, edukasi dan pendampingan, pemantauan dengan kartu kendali sampah, evaluasi, dan penetapan keluarga 3R. Hasil Uji Mc Nemar diperoleh ada perubahan perilaku memilah sebelum dan sesudah intervensi (P value <0.001), sejumlah 50 keluarga binaan (53%) mengalami perubahan positif terhadap perilaku memilah sampah. Hasil Uji Wilcoxon perbedaan berat sampah sebelum dan sesudah intervensi p value <0.001, sebanyak 65 orang atau 69% keluarga binaan menghasilkan sampah lebih sedikit setelah intervensi. Penurunan rerata berat sampah total per hari sejumlah 40,22% (105,5 gr/orang/hari, khusus penurunan sampah plastik mencapai 51,86%.Simpulan: Model intervensi melalui pendampingan dan penyuluhan penerapan tindakan 3R pada keluarga binaan memberi efek positif pada prilaku memilah sampah pada masyarakat dan penurunan berat sampah. ABSTRACT Title: Analysis Models Intervention Generation X of Plastic Waste Management in Medan CityBackground: As many as 2,000 tons of waste per day were produced in the city of Medan in 2022, with a plastic waste composition of 14.7%. Waste ware not managed will damage the aesthetics of the environment and become a breeding ground for various disease vectors. This study aims to analyze the results of plastic waste management interventions in generation X.Method: This type of research is analytic with a cross-sectional design. Respondents were generation X aged over 40 years, as 94 heads of families were selected by purposive sampling. Quantitative data analysis used Mc Nemar's Test and Wilcoxon's Test.Result: The Intervention models for Generation X through development, education and mentoring, monitoring with a waste control card, evaluation, and establishing a 3R family. The results of the Mc Nemar test on changes in sorting behavior before and after the intervention P value <0.001, and 50 assisted families (53%) experienced positive changes in waste sorting behavior. Wilcoxon Test Results Differences in Waste Weight Before and After the Intervention p value <0.001, as many as 65 people or 69% of the assisted families produce less waste after the intervention. The average reduction in total waste weight per day was 40.22%, (105.5 gr/person/day) specifically, the reduction in plastic waste reached 51.86%.Conclusion: The intervention model through mentoring and counseling on the comunity of 3R actions to assist families has a positive effect on the behavior of sorting waste in the community and reducing the weight of waste.
... (a) The Sales Revenues of Diesel Oil (SRD) Table 4 shows the sales revenues analysis of the extracted diesel oil according to the EEIF model annually within 2022, where the average weight of plastic per year is 400 × 10 3 t, with diesel oil after the distillation process from the pyrolysis oil reaching 0.2 million barrels of diesel oil extracted from plastic waste (BODPW), with the sales revenue of the diesel oil (SRD) as USD 5 million, with ROR as 4.1%, and PBP as 3.75 years, considering the expenses for the five reactors are USD 120 million. Table 5 shows the electricity generation of diesel after the pyrolysis oil distillation process annually within 2022 as follows: (i) diesel reaches 2.7 × 10 5 t, (ii) the extracted sales amount of electricity reaches 2.96 × 10 6 MW.h, (iii) the estimated sales profit for generated electricity is up to USD 32 million for households and USD 50 million for factories [58,59] from the five plasma reactors, (iv) the ROR is 26.6% for home (Arafa region), and 41.6% for factories, and (v) the PBP is 2.03 years for home (Arafa), and 1.55 years for factories. ...
Full-text available
Plasma gasification is considered an environmentally friendly process to convert plastic waste into fuel oil; a prototype system is described to test and validate the plasma treatment of plastic waste as a strategic vision. The proposed plasma treatment project will deal with a plasma reactor with a waste capacity of 200 t/day. The annual plastic waste production in tons in all regions of Makkah city during 27 years for all months in the years 1994 to 2022 is evaluated. A statistics survey of plastic waste displays the average rate generation ranging from 224 thousand tons in the year 1994 to 400 thousand tons in the year 2022, with an amount of recovered pyrolysis oil; 3.17 × 105 t with the equivalent energy; 12.55 × 109 MJ, and an amount of recovered diesel oil; 2.7 × 105 t with an amount of electricity for sale 2.96 × 106 MW.h. The economic vision will be estimated, using the results of energy generated from diesel oil as an industrial fuel extracted from plastic waste equivalent to 0.2 million barrels of diesel oil, with sales revenue and cash recovery of USD 5 million, considering the sale of each one barrel of diesel extracted from plastic waste in the range of USD 25. It is important to consider that the equivalent barrels of petroleum cost, according to the organization of the petroleum-exporting countries’ basket prices, up to USD 20 million. The sales profit (2022) is as follows: for diesel with a sales revenue of diesel oil, USD 5 million, with a rate of return of 4.1%, and a payback period of 3.75 years. The generated electricity reached USD 32 million for households and USD 50 million for factories.
... Additionally, entanglement with plastic wastes such as nets, can leads to injury and harm, even some time death to marine faunas. Marine plastic pollution mainly distresses sea turtles and other marine species whose primary food are jelly fishes since they frequently confuse waste plastic bags for jelly fish [68]. Sea birds frequently make the same mistake, mistaking microplastics for fishes. ...
Plastic production and its unplanned management and disposal, has been shown to pollute terrestrial, aquatic, and atmospheric environments. Petroleum-derived plastics do not decompose and tend to persist in the surrounding environment for longer time. Plastics can be ingested and accumulate into the tissues of both terrestrial and aquatic animals, which can impede their growth and development. Petrochemicals are the primary feedstocks for the manufacture of plastics. The plastic wastes can be retrieved back for conversion to value added petrochemicals including aromatic char, hydrogen, synthesis gas, and bio-crude oil using various technologies including thermochemical, catalytic conversion and chemolysis. This review focusses on technologies, opportunities, challenges and outlooks of retrieving back plastic wastes for conversion to value added petrochemicals. The review also explores both the technical and management approaches for conversion of plastic wastes to petrochemicals in regard to commercial feasibility, and economic and environmental sustainability. Further, this review work provides a detailed discussion on opportunities and challenges associated with recent thermochemical and catalytic conversion technologies adopted for retrieving plastic waste to fuels and chemicals. The review also recommends prospects for future research to improve the processes and cost-efficiency of promising technologies for conversion of plastic wastes to petrochemicals. It is envisioned that this review would overcomes the knowledge gaps on conversion technologies and further contribute in emerging sustainable approaches for exploiting plastic wastes for value-added products.
... Decomposition of plastics in the environment takes a few centuries, and, therefore, leaving plastic waste in the environment or landfilling the plastics are causing toxic pollution to the earth. Yearly, approximately 13 million tons of plastic waste have been thrown by humans into the ocean, which then harms marine lives [2]. ...
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The introduction of bioplastics has been an evolution for plastic industry since conventional plastics have been claimed to cause several environmental issues. Apart from its biodegradability, one of the advantages can be identified of using bioplastic is that they are produced by renewal resources as the raw materials for synthesis. Nevertheless, bioplastics can be classified into two types, which are biodegradable and non-biodegradable, depending on the type of plastic that is produced. Although some of the bioplastics are non-biodegradable, the usage of biomass in synthesising the bioplastics helps in preserving non-renewable resources, which are petrochemical, in producing conventional plastics. However, the mechanical strength of bioplastic still has room for improvement as compared to conventional plastics, which is believed to limit its application. Ideally, bioplastics need to be reinforced for improving their performance and properties to serve their application. Before 21st century, synthetic reinforcement has been used to reinforce conventional plastic to achieve its desire properties to serve its application, such as glass fiber. Owing to several issues, the trend has been diversified to utilise natural resources as reinforcements. There are several industries that have started to use reinforced bioplastic, and this article focuses on the advantages of using reinforced bioplastic in various industries and its limitations. Therefore, this article aims to study the trend of reinforced bioplastic applications and the potential applications of reinforced bioplastics in various industries.
... Polymer waste is increasingly problematic for environmental and human health. 39 Recycling efforts are critical in addressing this issue, but most thermoplastic polymers are mechanically recycled, which results in structural degradation and downcycling to lower-value products. 40,41 Chemical recycling, in contrast, is an increasingly attractive process in which polymers are converted back to their original monomer. ...
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With increasing interest in high sulfur content polymers, there is a need to develop new methods for their synthesis that feature improved safety and control of structure. In this report, electrochemically initiated ring-opening polymerization of norbornene-based cyclic trisulfide monomers delivered well-defined, linear poly(trisulfides), which were solution processable. Electrochemistry provided a controlled initiation step that obviates the need for hazardous chemical initiators. The high temperatures required for inverse vulcanization are also avoided resulting in an improved safety profile. Density functional theory calculations revealed a reversible "self-correcting" mechanism that ensures trisulfide linkages between monomer units. This control over sulfur rank is a new benchmark for high sulfur content polymers and creates opportunities to better understand the effects of sulfur rank on polymer properties. Thermogravimetric analysis coupled with mass spectrometry revealed the ability to recycle the polymer to the cyclic trisulfide monomer by thermal depolymerization. The featured poly(trisulfide) is an effective gold sorbent, with potential applications in mining and electronic waste recycling. A water-soluble poly(trisulfide) containing a carboxylic acid group was also produced and found to be effective in the binding and recovery of copper from aqueous media.
... HDPE is usually coming in forms like milk crates where it's a more rigid and it's easier to recycle. Often time's cities or entire countries won't really recycle [17,18]. Various sizes plastic sheets, plastic pipes and plastic frames made of polyvinyl chloride [9,10] Fig. 6 Various sizes plastics, plastic brush and plastics materials made of low density polyethylene [11] ...
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Ever since previously several decades, there has been a severe problem with plastic waste disposal and contamination due to the improper use of plastics for a variety of applications, including packaging, transportation, manufacturing, and agriculture in rural as well as urban regions. It takes about 100 years for plastic bags to decompose in an effective manner. Plastic contributes to environmental degradation and exacerbates the issue of climate change not only because it exacerbates the waste management problem and land filling but also because its combustion releases carbon dioxide and dioxins into the atmosphere. It has been shown that the techniques currently used for the disposal of plastic are insufficient for the efficient management of plastic waste; as a result, there is a rising worry about the utilization of effective microorganisms that are intended for the biodegradation of synthetic polymers that are not biodegradable. Microbes have the capacity to degrade the majority of inorganic and organic materials, including lignin, starch, cellulose and hemicelluloses. Biodegradable polymers are engineered to breakdown quickly in the presence of microbes because of this ability. Within the scope of this review, topics covered include the current state of affairs, processes of degradation of plastics, methodologies for characterizing deteriorated polymers, and variables that impact the biodegradation of plastics.
Nowadays, actively researching and developing degradable green materials are efficient means to move towards the future advanced technologies and industries. In this article, we review the state of the art in important aspects of degradable green polymers especially green nanopolymers from natural sources and derived nanomaterials. Consequently, the fundamentals, cataloguing and properties of degradable green polymers or green nanopolymers obtained from natural resources have been presented. Green nanopolymers and derivative green nanocomposites are natural degradable materials. In this article, we also deliver numerous technological applications of the degradable green nanopolymers and derived materials such as transient electronics, film/coating and membrane/packaging, environmental protection and sustainability, and biomedical applications. The resulting green nanocomposites have been found effective to resolve current ecological issues. Moreover, the challenges and future of the natural degradable green nanopolymers and green nanocomposites have been investigated. However, the research and advancement of technical degradable materials with industrial and commercial applications yet have a long way to go.
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According to environmental and safety-conscious behaviour in the 21 th century, it is necessary to strive to reduce all those activities that cause environmental damage in every aspect of life. More emphasis should be placed on recycling, waste-handling and environmental-friendly solutions, due to the increased amount of waste caused by the penetration of plastics. Plastic manufacture is a constantly growing industry-especially the production of packaging-so the amount of plastic waste generated is also growing steadily. Only a part of the accumulated waste is recycled , another part is destroyed and the remaining amount will continue to pollute the environment. One form of destruction may be energy recovery or incineration. Destruction is a form of energy recovery or incineration which is subject to strict legal requirements in addition to other possible activities. It could pose a serious burden on the human and natural environment if the process is not properly controlled and monitored. This article writes of the situation that seemingly a growing amount of plastic waste is used in residential combustion appliances, of which adverse environmental and health effects the majority of citizens are not aware, so these will be shown in particular. In this article, we examine the environmental and health effects and harm caused by the burning of plastics in detail. We write this study with the purpose of drawing people's attention to the importance of reducing the quantities of plastic waste and thus the environmental impact they cause as well as the human and environmental risks of incineration.
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Plastics are used widely everywhere in our life and without plastic, modern civilization would indeed look very diverse. This study focuses on the toxic effects of plastic on human health and environment and possible consequences of health risk assessment in Bangladesh. Plastics are essential materials in modern civilization, and many products manufactured from plastics and in numerous cases, they promote risks to human health and the environment. Plastics are contained many chemical and hazardous substances such as Bisphenol A (BPA), thalates, antiminitroxide, brominated flame retardants, and poly- fluorinated chemicals etc. which are a serious risk factor for human health and environment. Plastics are being used by Bangladeshi people without knowing the toxic effects of plastic on human health and environment. Different human health problems like irritation in the eye, vision failure, breathing difficulties, respiratory problems, liver dysfunction, cancers, skin diseases, lungs problems, headache, dizziness, birth effect, reproductive, cardiovascular, genotoxic, and gastrointestinal causes for using toxic plastics. Plastics occur serious environment pollution such as soil pollution, water pollution, and air pollution. Application of proper rules and regulations for the production and use of plastics can reduce toxic effects of plastics on human health and environment.
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Plastics have outgrown most man-made materials and have long been under environmental scrutiny. However, robust global information, particularly about their end-of-life fate, is lacking. By identifying and synthesizing dispersed data on production, use, and end-of-life management of polymer resins, synthetic fibers, and additives, we present the first global analysis of all mass-produced plastics ever manufactured. We estimate that 8300 million metric tons (Mt) as of virgin plastics have been produced to date. As of 2015, approximately 6300 Mt of plastic waste had been generated, around 9% of which had been recycled, 12% was incinerated, and 79% was accumulated in landfills or the natural environment. If current production and waste management trends continue, roughly 12,000 Mt of plastic waste will be in landfills or in the natural environment by 2050.
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Environmental threats posed in the environment by plastic production and plastic wastes continue to be a major problem today, closely connected with the increase of plastics consumption by the population. Moreover, little efforts are involved in some parts of the world associated to plastic waste collection, recycling and reuse. Considering all these prerequisites, the identification and discussion of risks generated by plastic production and waste in the environment are performed in this paper and some measures for plastic waste reduction were proposed. Although plastic polymers are not considered toxic, some residual monomers contained in the materials can be hazardous. Also, many chemical compounds used in the plastics manufacturing as additives, in particular plasticizers are dangerous to human health and the environment, along with some degradation products that may be released during the plastic life cycle. Bearing in mind the potential impacts and risks generated by these products in the environment and for humans, the paper highlights that the current requirements and tendencies are to reduce the need for plastic, the enhancement of recycling and recovering the waste, simultaneously with the replacement of plastic from fossil fuel with a continuous widening spectrum of biodegradable polymers. Bioplastics began to be recognized as a positive and important invention of chemical and plastics industry, providing many and varied opportunities for environmental impacts and risks abatement. © 2016, Gh. Asachi Technical University of Iasi. All rights reserved.
Synthetic organic polymers-or plastics-did not enter widespread use until the 1950s. By 2015, global production had increased to 322 million metric tons (Mt) year⁻¹, which approaches the total weight of the human population produced in plastic every year. Approximately half is used for packaging and other disposables, 40% of plastic waste is not accounted for in managed landfills or recycling facilities, and 4.8-12.7 Mt year⁻¹ enter the ocean as macroscopic litter and microplastic particles. Here, we argue that such mismanaged plastic waste is similar to other persistent pollutants, such as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) or polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which once threatened a "silent spring" on land. Such a scenario seems now possible in the ocean, where plastic cannot be easily removed, accumulates in organisms and sediments, and persists much longer than on land. New evidence indicates a complex toxicology of plastic micro- and nanoparticles on marine life, and transfer up the food chain, including to people. We detail solutions to the current crisis of accumulating plastic pollution, suggesting a Global Convention on Plastic Pollution that incentivizes collaboration between governments, producers, scientists, and citizens.
How to make opposites compatible Polyethylene (PE) and isotactic polypropylene ( i PP) are the two most widely used commodity plastics and thus make up a large fraction of the waste stream. However, the two plastics will not mix together, which limits options for dealing with mixed waste and decreases the value of recycled products. Eagan et al. report the synthesis of multiblock copolymers of i PP and PE by using a selective polymer initiator (see the Perspective by Creton). The high-molecular-weig ht blocks could be used to reinforce the interface between i PP and PE and allow blending of the two polymers. Science , this issue p. 814 ; see also p. 797
An additive creates tough blends from waste polyethylene and polypropylene