Plastic waste is one of the main problems around the world, especially in India. Even though the plastics are very useful, on the other hand, it acts as one of the main contributors to pollution. Not only has it affected soil, water but also the air and our ecosystem. If we look into this issue deeply, we can find that countless amount of plastic waste is produced and it’s not possible to collect them and recycle.
In some studies, it was highlighted that recycling can be a solution. However, when the production is increased on one end, recycling cannot be done on all those produced plastic waste. The production of plastic with Bisphenol A (BPA), Vinyl chloride, cadmiu m etc., makes it harder to implement recycle option. As of today, 25,940 tonnes of plastic waste was disposed of.
Even when we are aware of how such waste disposal can affect our health and also increase pollution, we are still continuing the use of plast ic.
It might be difficult to remove plastics from our life. For example, in India the first trail to ban plastics and plastic products made on1 st January 2020. Still, the uses of plastic bags are continued in our country. If we are unable to replace it why not replace the materials used in the production? This is a question we really need to ask. Plastic bags, cups, cutleries, straws, gloves, food wrappers and takeaway food container are one -time use plastic products which are seen high in num bers among the collected wastes.
Mostly for storage and easy carrying purpose the plastic products are used. Hence, one solution is the development and application of green plastic. This theory purely concentrates on using only the natural sources to prod uce plastics. Therefore, there won’t be any concern about pollution. The main product used in this process is “ Maranta Arundinacea ”, which is a natural source.
“Maranta Arundinacea ” a natural source Maranta Arundinacea is also known as West Indian “Arr owroot”. It contains vitamins, minerals and fibres. It’s a tropical plant which has high starch content. It is known in different names around the world. The consumption and usage of this plant are also different in different countries. 7000 years cultivat ion history is an added feature of this plant. Maranta Arundinacea plants are known mostly for its high starch and fibre content. Due to which 28% starch can be collected in the first wash itself. Even though these plants are mainly used in food preparati on, its quality features made it a vital product in industrial application and also in cosmetic products. After multiple washes of Arrowroot, the starch and fibre is separated and dried. This process is used in the development and production of green plastics. These plan ts have numerous medicinal benefits. It also contains 28 -30% starch, 1.6% Crude proteins and 5.9% crude fibres. Arr owroot plants are used as a thickening agent in food products and also used in papermaking and pharmaceutical industries.The important feature which made us select this plant is because it is a natural source. Both starch and fibre content from the plant i s used for the application of green plastic.
This plant is known as “Malabar Ebony or Pale Moon Ebony”. It belongs to the “ Ebenacea ” family. The unripe f ruits or leaves of these plants are used as a black colour dye in clothes. The ripen fruits are used for blood disease treatment and the tree bark is used in tumour treatment. Due to the “ Diospyros Malabarica” high beneficial qualities, it is used as a sour ce of gum. It is used as a natural gum in the development of green plastic. In order to avoid plastic waste, organic sources such as Cassava, Sugarcane, Corn, Seaweed are used in bioplastic production. Starch collected from the organic sources is one of the important materials used for bioplastic production. The fig.1.3 shows the steps of bioplastic production. Plants based materials are used in the production steps such as dissolution, chemical compound, forming processes such as molding and decomposition. The decomposition process duration is from weeks to months. Once the decom position process is initiated, the bioplastic starts to decompose from Day 1 and it will be completely decomposed by the 58th day. Green plastics are eco -friendly. We are aware of such eco -friendly products which are already available in the market around the world. For example, cups and bowls made from corn starch which are indeed bioplastics. Hence as the benefits of bioplastics are already been proved, we can conclude that the corn starch is a good source for bioplastic production. Let's look into how the corn starch is used in the bioplastic production. Firstly, the corn starch will be fermented into lactic acid and then the lactic acid is transformed into long -chain carbon polymer (polylactic polymerization method). Lat er, the polylactic acid will be molded into different products such as bowls, cups, plates, etc. Several studies show that polylactic acid (PLA) has many advantages. If we increase the consumption of green plastic which is made purely from organic sources, we can reduce the use of petroleum -based plastics and other plastic which are made from harmful materials. Thereby we can save our ecosystem and provide a healthy and pollution -free environment for future generations.
In order to imp lement the usage of green plastic in milk pouches, water bottles and showpieces might be challenging, however, it might increase the demand for green plastic. The non -use of highly toxic chemicals in the green plastic production and the easy decomposing fe ature can increase the demand for green plastic products. It is evident that plastic is an everyday life product, hence the better version of plastic which is non -toxic and easy decomposable “Green plastic” can also become an everyday life product. It has the features such as best quality, long – lasting and eco -friendly which will make it a demanding product in future. Hence, we hope that this study of “Development and application of green plastic natural sources” will be a good start in saving our environm ent without compromising our needs might be a new era of natural source consumption. The main scope of study of using “ Maranta Arundinacea” in the production of green plastic is with the motive to make an eco – friendly and pollution -free green plastic prod ucts for our everyday use which in turn keep the balance in nature as well.
In chapter 1 the introduction provides the reasons for selecting natural sources for the Development and application of green plastic. The decision to use natural sources such as “Maranta Arundinacea” was made after several studies, which proved that the use of natural sources can be a solution to the existing pollution problems. The features and uses of these natural sources is an effective method to decrease pollution which in turn makes our environment clean and provides us with a healthier life. This chapter also includes the uses of such natural sources and their qualities which are efficient. The issues which are caused by the consumptio n and waste disposal of the plastic is also mentioned.
In chapter 2 – Review of literature, this section explains how fibres can be produced from different natural sources and also their application using environment -friendly materials. B io- fiber production using fruit waste, their application studies and mechanical properties of green composite with fibers from natural sources is the main focus of this chapter.
In chapter 3 – Methodology, in this chapter, a detailed study on how fibre i s extracted from a natural source called “ Maranta Arundinacea” is provided. The extraction process consists of several washes, crushing; drying process, analy sation and also characteristics were highlighted in SEM analysis. Other tests also include analysation of composite, compression molding , heat resistant test, degradability test, water solubility test and finally its suggested applications, all comes in the meth odology. In chapter 4 – Result and conclusion: This section includes the final output of the tests conducted using natural sources as an alternate material for plastic production. The main output is that the final product the “Green plastics” are easy deco mposable, pollution -free and doesn’t contain any toxic chemicals only made with natural sources. This shows how the environment can be saved from toxic plastics.