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Reports Plastic Waste

The study titled, ‘Quantitative analysis of Microplastics along River Ganga’ finds that the river is heavily polluted with microplastics. It has thrown up alarming results as microplastics were found in all the samples.The river water testing was carried out in collaboration with the National Institute of Oceanography in Goa and a set of five water samples were collected from the river at Haridwar, Kanpur and Varanasi. The samples were tested through FTIR to identify the exact type or resin core and the results show presence of significantly high (40) different kinds of polymers as microplastics in Ganga waters. Resins like EVOH, Polyacetylene, PIP, PVC and PVAL were predominant in all three locations..

The look and feel of the non-woven bags have made people believe that they are made of cloth and therefore environment-friendly.This is far from the truth.The lab findings, which were a part of this study, clearly show the plastic content in the popularly distributed non-woven bags- thus breaking the myth that these bags pose no harm to the environment.Lack of correct information or misleading information is leading most vendors to use plastic (non-woven PP) as replacement for normal plastic- and ironically paying more for it.

The study titled 'Single Use Plastic-The Last Straw' reveals that consumers in India recognize the environmental impact of disposable plastic products and want a ban on many single use plastics in the country.The results highlight growing public awareness of the problem of single use plastic waste in the country.

The study titled ‘Eco Personal Care Product, Microplastics in Cosmetics’ found that many cosmetics available in Indian shelves contain microplastics or microbeads. Microbeads are non-biodegradable, tiny plastic particles, that pose serious threat to the environment, especially marine animals.Toxics Link carried out the study to investigate presence of microbeads in personal care and cosmetic products (PCCP) available and sold in India.

The study reveals that plastic laden with certain harmful flame retardants might be contaminating the entire recycled plastic stream. The report ‘WEEE Plastic and Brominated Flame Retardants’, divulges that almost 300 tonnes of plastic with toxic brominated flame retardants (BFRs) are added to thevrecycling stream every day in India; gets mixed with other plastic and then reaches us in form of new products.

The study finds that despite a ban on using plastic carry bags of less than 40 microns and complete ban on plastic in ecosensitive/tourist sites and Government offices in West Bengal, plastic bags are commonly being used in Kolkata. Vendors and customers prefer these primarily due to the easy availability and also since there is lack of action by local authorities. Throughout the study it was found that negligence and ignorance at the macro and micro level has resulted in complete failure of the plastic bag notification in Kolkata.

This study was conducted in – Delhi, Chandigarh and Sikkim with the objective of checking the compliance of plastic bag ban, reasons for success and failures and providing recommendations for improving the compliance. It conducted a survey of two important stakeholders-vendors and consumers in these three states/UTs

The study revealed that, in the formal as well as the informal sector, plastic recycling units in India there are hardly any procedures to decontaminate the plastic or prevent cross contamination. Presence of BFRs like PBDEs and PBBs and heavy metals like lead and cadmium in lab analysis clearly point out towards the increasing risk of absence of such decontamination. Varying concentrations of PBDE and PBE found in the recycled plastic pellets point towards two major fi ndings. Firstly, that though some of these chemicals have been phased out in developed countries, they are still being used in the products sold in India. Secondly, the entire plastic recycling chain is getting contaminated by these kinds of additives.

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