About Plastic Waste

About Plastic Waste

  • Plastic waste in general is classified into 2 categories:
    • Thermoplastic: 94% of total plastic waste in India and is recyclable
    • Thermoset: 6% of the total plastic waste and in non-recyclable
  • The main reason of high amount of plastic waste in Indian cities is because of low level of recycling.
  • Segregation of the waste at the source is the foundation of recycling, which has not been enforced effectively.


Types of Plastic Waste and their sources

  1. PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate)
  • Source: Mainly drinking water and soft drink bottles, plastic jars, plastics films, plastic sheets.
  • Recyclability: Easily Recyclable.
  1. High Density Polyethylene and Low Density Polyethylene
  • Source: Plastics bags, food containers, woven sacks, plastics Toys, milk pouches & shopping bags.
  • Recyclability: Commonly recyclable as it does not break under exposure to extreme heat and cold.
  1. PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)
  • Source: Pipes, Hoses, Sheets, Wire, cable insulations, Multilayer Tubes
  • Recyclability: It is least recycled and is called as ‘poison plastic’.
  1. Polypropylene 
  • Source: Disposable Cups, Bottle caps, Straws
  • Recyclability: Difficult to recycle.
  1. Polystyrene 
  • Source: Disposable cups, glasses, plates, spoons, trays, CD covers, foams
  • Recyclability: Not recyclable as it breaks easily.
  1. Thermoset
  • Source: CD, Helmets, Shoe soles.
  • Recyclability: Not recyclable


Single-use plastics

  • Single-use plastics are disposable plastic items that are commonly used for packaging and include items intended to be used only once before they are thrown away or recycled.
  • As a host to World Environment Day in 2018, India committed to end the use of single-use plastic by 2022.
  • In September 2018, the government prioritized 4 single-use plastic products for complete phase out- styrofoam cups, plastic water bottles, disposable plastic cutlery and all plastic carry bags.


Section : Environment & Ecology