Plastics are non-biodegradable and remain on earth for thousands of years. The burning of plastic waste under uncontrolled conditions lead to generation of different hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), depending upon the type of polymers and additives used.

Categories of Plastic Waste

Plastics are generally categorized into two types: 

  • Thermoplastics: Thermoplastics or Thermo-softening plastics are the plastics which soften on heating and can be moulded into desired shape such as PET, HDPE, LDPE, PP, PVC, PS, etc.

  • Thermosets: Thermoset or thermosetting plastics on heating, cannot be re-moulded or recycled such as Sheet Moulding Compounds (SMC), Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP), Bakelite etc. are the examples of the same. Thermoplastics shall be channelized to registered plastic waste recycler for recycling. Thermoset plastics shall be processed and disposed of as per guidelines of CPCB.

Source: “Banning single-use plastic: lessons and experiences from countries” UN Environment Programme report (2018) as cited on on 02.06.2021 

Status of Plastic Waste Management

The State generates approximately 54,000 tons per annum of plastic waste. There are around 450 plastic units identified in the State falling in the category of Recyclers, Producers, Manufacturers and Brand-Owners. Out of these 450 plastic units, 139 are recyclers, 177 are producers, 98 are brand- owners and 36 are manufacturers.

For effective management of plastic waste, the State Government is implementing the plastic waste management rules, 2016 notified by Government of India. Department of Local Government, Punjab vide notification dated 18/02/2016 has completely prohibited manufacture, stock, distribute, recycle, sell or use of plastic carry bags in the urban areas. PPCB has played a pro-active role to get constituted a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) namely Punjab Plastic Waste Management Society consisting of brand owner companies as its members for management of Multi-layered plastic waste generated in the State. Department of Local Government and Department of Rural Development and Panchayat have accordingly put a complete ban on plastic carry bags in their respective jurisdictions w.e.f. 1st April 2016.

 (Source: “Action plan for monitoring of waste management in the state” Directorate of Environment & Climate Change, Punjab as cited on 17.06.2021)