Jul 20
Pruning Plastic
Pruning Plastic
MILLIONS of tonnes of plastic, swirling around the world’s oceans, are cooking up  the  proverbial  storm.  Plastic pollution poses a big threat to plants, animals, and human beings. The impact of microplastics in soils, sediments and freshwater can have a long-term negative effect.
 
Keeping this in mind, eight project sites of L&T’s Water & Effluent Treatment (WET) arm have taken several steps to lower plastic pollution. The projects include the Pune elevated surface reservoir and ground service reservoir project, the Pune 24x7 water supply packages – 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6, Gujarat’s Brahmani water resources project and the Navda-to-Chavand bulk pipeline project.
 
The sites are on a mission to transform construction waste to usable material, reduce reliance on single-use plastic and increase the utilisation of recycled plastic. Their collective effort to use plastic waste is both economically beneficial and offers alternative materials for construction.
 
RECYCLE & REUSE
 
Various methods are used to handle plastic waste in an environment-friendly way. At one site, it is collected daily and handed over to agencies for recycling and producing by-products for further use.
 
At others, it is recycled into polyfuel and used in boilers, cement factories, steel mills, glass factories, etc. as substitute for diesel, coal, or wood. Due to its low sulphur content, polyfuel is cleaner than traditional fuels and can be directly used in kerosene stoves, boilers, furnaces, certain types of gensets and the like. The residual char produced is non-hazardous waste.
 
Then, plastic waste is also being recycled into plastic granules which are used in compression moulding, highly reinforced composites, powder coating and 3D printing.
 
PEOPLE BUY-IN
 
The success of an initiative is in the buy-in from the workforce. WET conducts site-specific training, as well as courses in areas such as environment management resource-based theory and waste management. Waste collection and segregation are conducted on a periodic basis to minimise waste accumulation at sites and keep work areas neat and orderly.
 
Regular housekeeping and waste minimisation campaigns help keep aisles and floors slip-free and remove waste materials and other fire hazards.
 
BENEFITS OF RECYCLING
 
Each tonne of plastics produces approximately:
 
• 600 to 650 litres of polyfuel
 
• 20%–25% synthetic gas – used in the process
 
• 5% –10% moisture
 
• 5% –10% residual char – can be used as road-filler with bitumen
 
ENERGY CONSERVATION: Recycling a tonne of plastic saves energy equal to 5,774 kWh. That’s equivalent to the amount of energy consumed by two people for a year.
 
REDUCED PETROLEUM USE: Around 40% of oil consumption can be reduced through recycling plastic waste. That’s 16.3 barrels of oil per tonne of recycled plastic.
 
CO2 EMISSION REDUCTION: Reduced oil consumption means reduced emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases emitted during the production of plastic.
 
REDUCED LANDFILL USE: Fewer plastic in landfills means less emission of common landfill gases like CO2 and methane. Both gases affect life through the ground and air, causing public health problems and environmental damage.
 
COLLABORATING WITH COMMUNITIES
 
The ‘Go Green’ drive is strengthened by taking the message to the communities in the vicinity of the projects, in the form of awareness sessions and strategic cleaning campaigns for schools and homes.
 
The Navda-to-Chavand project undertakes plastic collection drives from families of employees and workmen, and cleaning drives at schools, parks, and ponds so to create awareness about environmental issues. The waste collected is handed over to recycling agencies.
 
At the Brahmani project, plans are afoot to augment the plastic collection and cleaning drives for communities around the project sites. The target is to create an effective after-use plastics economy which will create more material value and increase resource productivity.
 
Ensuring that plastic doesn’t pollute the environment requires a coordinated effort to improve collection systems and recovery infrastructure. And that’s what L&T’s project sites focus upon.

Comments

Good one

Good one
 on 7/23/2022 2:29 PM