Tuesday June 18, 2019
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Green Activists to Build a Taj Mahal with Plastic Waste in Agra

The Taj city daily generates around a thousand tons of civic garbage, most of it plastic and polythene waste

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Green activists will attempt to construct a Taj Mahal with plastic and polythene waste at the Etmauddaula viewpoint park on the Yamuna river here.

At a workshop here by NGO Unfold Foundation to train activists on making eco-bricks with plastic bottles, members of the River Connect Campaign announced they would work on putting together a model of the Taj Mahal with these building blocks. The efforts could take around six months.

Eco-bricks are made of plastic bottles that are stuffed with polythene bags and sealed.

“This is a highly cost effective waste-control exercise based on common sense. We collect used plastic bottles, pack them with packing material, gutkha pouches and polythene, make the bottles air tight and seal them. The bottles become rock solid and are good enough to last 500 years,” Dr Meeta Kulshreshtha, a surgeon, and coordinator of Unfold Foundation, told IANS.

"Agra gets only a trickle. Since there is no storage facility in Agra, the monsoon water goes waste," river activist Harendra Gupta said.
Taj Mahal(Agra), Pixabay

“If one person can give us one bottle filled with waste material, in one year, we will have 20 lakh such eco-bricks to build any solid structure,” Programme Convener Harvijay Bahia said.

River Connect Campaign member Chaturbhuj Tiwari said: “Every week when we clean a patch of Yamuna riverbed, we gather heaps of polythene and used plastic material. If we can manage to fill all this in plastic bottles and jars, we could not only help solve a major urban problem, but have material ready for a structure to be used by the public. Tree guards, benches and stools are among the products that can be made.”

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The Taj city daily generates around a thousand tons of civic garbage, most of it plastic and polythene waste.

“If each household starts filling up bottles with used polythene bags and sliced plastic, we could easily prevent pollution of rivers and water bodies and also avoid choking of drains and sewer lines,” social activist Shravan Kumar Singh said. (IANS)

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Researchers Find a Way to Turn Daily Plastic Waste into Jet Fuel

At least 4.8 million tonnes of plastic enters the ocean each year worldwide, according to conservative estimates by scientists

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Japan, Policy Package, Plastic Waste
Many countries are having trouble managing the growing amount of plastic waste. Pixabay

Plastic trash may one day help people fly as researchers have found a way to turn daily plastic waste products into jet fuel.

“There is a lot of hydrogen in plastics, which is a key component in fuel,” said Hanwu Lei, Associate Professor at the Washington State University in the US.

To produce jet fuel, the researchers melted plastic waste at high temperature with activated carbon.

“This is a very good, and relatively simple, way to recycle these plastics,” Lei said.

For the study, the research team tested low-density polyethylene and mixed a variety of waste plastic products like water bottles, milk bottles, plastic bags and ground them down to around three millimetres, or about the size of a grain of rice.

During the research, the plastic granules were then placed on top of activated carbon in a tube reactor at a high temperature, ranging from 430 degree Celsius to 571 degrees Celsius.

The carbon is a catalyst or a substance that speeds up a chemical reaction without being consumed by the reaction.

Scientists have found large amounts of micro plastic in the guts of deep-dwelling ocean mammals like whales. Wikimedia Commons

“Plastic is hard to break down. You have to add a catalyst to help break the chemical bonds,” Lei said.

After testing several different catalysts at different temperatures, the best result they had produced a mixture of 85 per cent jet fuel and 15 per cent diesel fuel, said the study published in the journal Applied Energy.

“We can recover almost 100 per cent of the energy from the plastic we tested, the fuel is very good quality, and the byproduct gasses produced are high quality and useful as well,” Lei said.

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“You have to separate the resulting product to get jet fuel, if you don’t separate it, then it’s all diesel fuel,” Lei added.

At least 4.8 million tonnes of plastic enters the ocean each year worldwide, according to conservative estimates by scientists.

The new process shows promise in reducing that waste. (IANS)