How do you burn plastic waste?

What happens when plastic is burned

Incineration is not recycling. Incinerators burn many valuable resources that can be recycled and composted. Recycling and incineration are not compatible. Both business models compete with each other.    Both the recycling industry and the incineration industry need the same resources: plastic, paper, cardboard, among other materials. What one industry recycles, the other needs to burn.  Sweden, for example, is a country that has both technologies: recycling and incineration. The Swedish institution in charge of waste management has been so successful in the implementation of recycling that it has caused a disadvantage: shortage of waste for burning. The solution to keep waste-to-energy incineration going in Sweden has been to import waste from Norway. Thus, Sweden proves that incineration is not sustainable, as it creates a dependency on garbage and waste.  In other words, incineration promotes wasteful habits “saecula saeculorum” in order to provide the resource they need. No trash, no incinerators. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Compost.

What happens if a plastic bag burns?

The fight against this problem is gaining momentum. Countries, businesses and communities are developing strategies and taking action to reduce, reuse and recycle plastic products. The governments of Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia have prepared circular economy roadmaps to prioritize plastic-related policies and investments in specific sectors and locations. The world’s leading brands and retailers have voluntarily committed to 100 % of their plastic packaging being reused, recycled or composted by 2025.

See also  What plastic are sprinklers made of?

Policy options include holding producers and importers of plastic goods accountable for the disposal of plastic waste, and economic instruments, such as taxes, to help phase out non-essential plastic products. Policies, standards and guidelines should be harmonized through specific regional measures aligned with national programs.To create an enabling environment, it is particularly important to develop and implement recycled plastic content standards for major consumer products.    This can help decouple the prices of recycled and virgin plastic and create local market demand for recycled and creatively reused plastic products.

How to burn garbage without polluting

Plastics are generally low-cost, low-density materials that have a wide variety of applications. An environmental problem generated by plastics originates in the use of these for short periods of time and represent a high percentage of plastics used, such as disposable polystyrene plastics, bags used in the market, plastic bottles of soft drinks, among others.

See also  How Long Will plastic mulch last?

Consequently, they generate a large amount of waste and the first solution for their disposal was landfills. As the amount of waste in landfills increased, other options were sought and some disposal treatments were developed. The main methods that exist to treat plastics from garbage are recycling, incineration and gasification.

In Europe some countries such as Sweden and Germany have recycled 50% of their plastic packaging and together with the rest of the EU collected 16.7 million tons of plastic packaging waste through official schemes.

Burnt plastic

If the garbage truck passes by the block we apparently dispose of the package individually, although it is still a collective problem. But what happens where there is no municipal collection service? It is stored, buried or burned… in any case, it pollutes and affects people, animals and ecosystems in many ways.

Although PET is not considered a hazardous material, excessive consumption of products packaged in PET containers can cause long-term respiratory and skin problems due to the action of “phthalates”, chemical compounds added to make the plastic more flexible and durable, which can be easily released, for example, at high temperatures. When released into the liquid and ingested, these particles accumulate inside the body.

See also  Who regulates plastics in the US?

It should be remembered that most of the high biodiversity areas are surrounded by rural populations, far from the municipalities. In most of them there is no garbage collection service, although even in the most remote areas, delivery trucks from companies that sell bottled beverages (and many other packaged products) arrive and, of course, they are not responsible for the waste they generate. What do the communities do with the PET? They “save” it, bury it or burn it. As we have seen, any option is a problem.