In India, the plastic industry was established in 1957 with the production of only one product, polystyrene. Soon the variety of high use products began to produce with the development of petrochemical sectors. Gradually plastic started to serve the needs of domestic use along with market purposes. Since then its growth has been tremendous. Demand for plastic is rising increasingly year by year. Global demand for plastic has resulted in the upsurge of large scale plastic industries. India is one of the major producers of the plastic globally. Today there are 50,000 (estimated) plastic processing units in India. These are mainly medium and small scale industries. Still the demand for plastic or its raw materials is continuously rising. But its growing demand is a matter of concern. Its non-biodegradable properties are toxic to our environment and ecosystem too. But we see it has taken place in our lifestyle as an integral part. Every utility, appliances, home decor items etc has an important role for plastic. Plastic makes the product durable, that too, with a cheap cost. A plastic product is more in demand than its metal alternatives. This makes it prime for every one to opt for plastic over any other material. Plastic has its strong grip in other major sectors of the country like construction, spacecrafts industries, industries for marine transportation, aviation industries and any other industry. An extensive amount of plastic can be seen in their products because its lightweight, transparency and electrical resistance makes the product easy to use.
Not only transportation, every house and every industry needs plastic. It is the nature of plastic which makes it a brilliant match in every field. Some of the incomparable qualities that plastic possesses are durability, water resistance, corrosion resistance, electrical resistance, variety of colours, lightweight and many more.
Scope of the plastic industries
With immense scope of plastic, plastic industries of India will achieve great heights in respect to success. India exports a variety of raw materials which benefits the economy of India. Today plastic industries are more in number than any other industry in India because every other industry needs plastic to be able to produce products. Seeing its growing demand and popularity in every field, plastic industries have a great future. With the passing time and growing population demand for more plastic industries will be increased more. Despite its adverse effects on the environment, it is continuously in demand in every sector.
What makes plastic so unique and desirable?
The plastic is a common yet unique material. Its astonishing qualities make it desirable. Written below are some of the qualities owned by plastic :
Strength – Their load bearing capacity is enough but when mixed with other fibrous materials, strength increases.
Durability- plastic durability is quite long because of its ineffective or less reactive nature.
Electric insulation – This is one such quality which makes it outstand all other metals. Due to this reason it is highly used in electrical appliances like remotes, inverters, batteries which makes them safer.
Plastics have a smooth shining surface which makes them appealing and need for polishing also ends. It can be given a variety of colors to make it look attractive and desirable while this is not the case with metals, they need polishing and color factor is not available. Also plastics are opaque and transparent so they can replace glass easily.
Some of the popular plastic polymers are polyethylene (PE) , polypropylene (PP) , polystyrene (PS) , India’s first plastic industry was of polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) , natural rubber and it goes countless.
What causes the rise of plastic industries?
-With the increasing population, emerging urbanization and industrialization a greater infrastructure will be needed. To meet the needs, demand for more plastic production will become a necessity. Eventually more plastic industries will come into the market.
-Due to its lightweight property it is extensively used in automobile industries and construction industries. In this way plastic ensures weight savings as well as cost savings because it is available at cheaper prices than iron, wood and steel.
-In this pandemic situation the plastic market is still in demand for medical equipment like ventilators, testing kits, syringes, gloves and face shields. Though there is decline of plastic demand in other sectors like vehicle manufacturing industries, housing & construction industries, packaging and utility industries.
-presence of plastic of various forms in each and every sector of the world. It is impossible to remove plastic completely from even an inch of any sector.
Will plastic need ever decrease?
The answer is no. Since it plays a humongous role in the people’s lives and country’s development. Statistics show plastic industries will increase continuously. If humans use the plastic very efficiently, reuse the bags, boxes, and reduce the use of single-use plastic then the environment will be protected to some extent.
How will it be managed?
Reducing plastic involvement is our daily lives. Wherever without plastic can be managed readily, it should be done readily.
Using biodegradable plastics
Single-use plastics are dangerous for the earth. Negative impacts of plastic on landfills, aquatic life and street animals have been seen. To minimize this impact we can opt for a better option which is biodegradable plastics.
Biodegradable plastic is made of such compounds which helps it in degrading at a faster rate. It is made of plant materials which makes it eco friendly.
Many research and experiments are going on to modify plastic in such a way that its harm can be lessened. A ban on the use of plastics will not be fruitful, but using plastic in a responsible way can help us in many ways.
Recycling of plastic doesn’t always give good outcomes. Recycling of plastic doesn’t always have advantages. It can cause air pollution by releasing carbon dioxide in the air.
It possess some serious disadvantages –
-Quality of the plastic does not remain same
The amount of waste we are creating everyday cannot be stopped by ban. Therefore we need strong solutions regarding this persistent problem. Actually its pros are its cons. We should take advantage of it. Limiting the use of plastics and we can replace some plastic items very easily with environmentally friendly substitutes like plastic bags can be replaced by fibre bags, plastic crockery by ceramic crockery, straws , coffee mugs, plastic boxes can all be replaced with their metal alternatives.
We can step into a better lifestyle with a healthy environment without compromising with the benefits given by plastic.
Role of engineering plastics in plastic industry
What is engineering plastic?
Engineered plastic is generally a thermoset and thermoplastic with superior mechanical, chemical and thermal properties over a wide range of temperatures and other specific conditions. Some major engineered plastic examples are :- Polycarbonates (PC) – prime material in bullet resistant panels,
Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) – huge role in automotive industries because of its transparency and and highly useful due to its optical properties like lamp construction, LED lights designs and it is a substitute for glass.
Polyamide – Apart from its immense importance in automotives in handles, gears,valves etc, it possesses a lot of value in robotics. It is also used for cable protection.
And there are a lot of important engineered plastics which play a key role in human life. With the use of engineering plastic, a relief in the production cost and weight management of the extremely heavy objects can be easily achieved by replacing metal parts with advanced engineering plastic parts.
Above stated synthetic polymers are only a few. There is a wide range of plastics (synthetic resins) produced chemically for the ease of human lives.
Here are some facts which shows the clear successful future of the plastic industry in india:
India has its own manufacturing units for raw materials which includes PVC, Polyethylene with high and low density, Polypropylene which contributes to the independence of the nation.
India exports a wide variety of raw materials, PVC, leather sheets and cloth, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), surgical wires, laminates and many more. India also provides skilled manpower and capable infrastructure.
We can manage a healthy environment with the successful future of plastic industries in India.