Impact of Plastic

Impact of Plastic
Plastic has in the last few decades come to impact us very deeply. What seemed to be happening across the world, in small countries and limited geographies, has consumed almost the whole of the earth. Today microplastics are found in human blood, they are choking marine life, they are being consumed by polar bears and animals in the North Pole. Plastic has become as ubiquitous as the air we breathe or the soil that our plants flourish in. Only difference is that plastic neither nourishes nor nurtures nor feeds, but its presence is cutting away our access to food and water sources, filling up our land and water bodies, so nature cannot grow and thrive.


All our land and water are natural sources that have been nurturing us for millenia. All that we have is what comes to us through cyclical changes. Every drop of water and every grain of soil is already here. Yet plastic is artificial, here in our ecosystem due to man’s actions. And it is being continuously produced and manufactured and made. Worse still, plastic takes a long time to decompose. While the plastic itself is hard to break, what is significantly more dangerous is the way plastic decomposes, interacting with water, making it poisonous, leaching chemicals or additives into the soil and irreparably damaging growth of plants and trees, changing the structure and function of our ecosystem.

Globally, we produce 300 million tons of plastic waste every year of which only 9% gets recycled while the rest ends up in landfills, languishing there for years. Straws, plastic carrier bags, water bottles are all single use plastic that cannot be reused for any purpose.


Unlike land masses, water is a constantly moving, flowing natural resource, the very nature of which is a huge global sink of pollution. Whether it is lost cargo from ships, unused metal and scraps that have been junked, abandoned fishing nets – all of this known as ‘ghost gear’ makes for almost 10% of waste plastic in the sea.

However, land too contributes to water pollution. Winds and weather driving floating debris into water, rivers and channels merging in oceans and seas, also bring tonnes of plastic waste into the water. Studies infact show that just 10 rivers worldwide – 8 of them in Asia – contribute to the bulk of plastic waste in our waters. Once in the ocean, high currents, winds and constant churn break plastic into smaller and smaller pieces less than 5mm in diameter, burrowing deep into habitats and become difficult to get rid off.

While the plastic problem looks insurmountable, there is much to do and more global action to be undertaken in which several individuals and entities have already made significant strides. What we can do in our capacity is intervene in the process so that more such avenues of recycling can happen with plastic waste, designing better products with longer shelf lives and reuse, and replacing new plastic consumption with existing alternatives.

Alterin Technologies expands the understanding of true plastic waste and recycling that not just covers solutions to take care of the problem, but also solutions that work for a sustainable better future. With plastics being the main environmental pollutant – 85% of all marine litter and 23-37 million metric tons of waste to be added to oceans by 2040 – the future looks bleak, if critical intervention isn’t undertaken at the earliest. Our innovative Supracycling process using cutting-edge Alterin Technology is just one such option in the global fight against plastics.

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