The management of waste plastics is an ongoing major environmental issue. Several strategies have been adopted – all with their own limitations. Researchers now explore existing approaches to find the best possible solution for the future.
By Muhammad Ilyas
Currently used methods of handling plastic waste include recycling, disposal in landfills, incineration, microbial degradation and conversion into useful materials. Each strategy has its own pitfalls and the amount of scientific literature is vast.
A study from Pakistan, recently published in Reviews on Environmental Health, now helps bringing order to chaos. The researchers selected 153 primary studies allowing to identify the different fates of waste plastic, the impacts as well as frequently used and discussed management and disposal techniques. The study also identified a number of important techniques for the conversion of waste plastic into useful products.
“The accumulation of all of the information in this systematic literature review will benefit the research community and practitioners in identifying from where they need to start further research and direction for waste plastics,” explains Muhammad Ilyas, of the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Peshawar, Pakistan, and corresponding author of the article.
The researcher emphasizes the dire need to organize the literature published in this field to address the issue of plastic waste management and to make conclusions on potential practical techniques to lessen the effects of plastic waste on the environment.
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