garbage Current Affairs - 2020

Sanitary Napkin Disposal Bags to be made mandatory from 2021

On March 8, 2020, the Union Environment Minister Prakash Javedekar announced that sanitary napkin disposal bags are to be made mandatory.

Highlights

The sanitary napkin manufacturers have to supply a biodegradable bag along with every napkin from January 2021. There are high possibilities for the “Swachhta Sevaks” or the women garbage collectors to get infected as they are handling the sanitary napkin wastes directly from the garbage.

The Minister also announced that sanitation and cleanliness norms are to be applied for all villages with population more than 3,000.

Legislation

The soiled diapers, napkins, blood-soaked cotton and condoms from the households are received by the municipal waste collectors. The Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) rules, 2000 makes it mandatory to dispose these wastes after segregating them biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste. However, some napkins contain layer of plastics and some don’t. Therefore, it is difficult to sort them.

According to Bio-Medical Waste (Management and Handling) rules, 1998, items that are contaminated with bodily fluids should be incinerated to destroy pathogens.

Indian Railway’s first Waste to Energy Plant uses “PolyCrack” Technology

The East Coast Railways commissioned the first waste-to-energy plant of Railways sector of India. It is the fourth such plant in the country. The plant has been set up at a cost of Rs 1.79 crores with Polycrack technology.

Highlights

The plant installed converts waste collected from the garbage disposal units into carbon powder, diesel and gas using Polycrack Technology. The diesel oil is to be sold by the Railways to other stake holders for commercial purposes. The gas and carbon powder are to be used in brick manufacturing. The best thing of the plant is that it does not leave any waste at the end.

The plant has the capacity to process 500 kg of waste per day and will earn Rs 17.5 lakh per annum.

The first of such plant was established by Infosys in 2011 at Bengaluru. The second plant was established in Delhi in 2014 and the third was installed by Hindalco in 2019.

Polycrack Technology

In Polycrack Technology, waste is processed and reformed in 24 hours. The only drawback is that it requires larger area. The technology involves de-polmerization, cracking, reforming, scrubbing, particle filtration and rapid quenching.

The major benefit of the method is that it does not require pre-segregation.