Volume No. 4 Issue No.: 4 Page No.: 1084-1093 April-June 2010

 

UNPACKING THE PACKAGING : ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF PACKAGING WASTES

 

Manoj Kumar Jindal

Department of Chemical Engineering, Govt. Polytechnic College for Girls, Ropar, (INDIA)

 

Received on : January 12, 2009

 

ABSTRACT

 

Packaging is an indispensable part of modern life, the challenge is to manufacture our products in a sustainable manner. Global climate change, destruction of the rain forests and disasters such as Chernobyl (USSR) and Bhopal (India) are far away and hard for an individual to influence; but garbage disposal happens again and again, right at home under our personal control. Therefore, who seek to act on their environmental concerns, often find it easiest to begin with the problems of solid waste. Packaging has come to symbolize the issue of waste, as the environmental impacts of the manufacture, use and disposal of packaging materials include the formation of greenhouse gases CO2, the release of toxins (e.g. vinyl chloride monomer) and the scarring of landscape (e.g. mining pits). Perhaps most important of all, packaging Seems to be wasteful: used once and then promptly discarded, it seems like only an ephemeral presence in our lives as it rushes from factory to landfill. Yet packaging remains ubiquitous; it is impossible to imagine an urban, industrial society functioning without it. Modern packaging has made life easier in many ways-food preparation and storage, longer shelf life for products, frozen foods, processed foods, and takeout foods. Unfortunately, such convenience has come at an environmental price. Assessing the comparative environmental impacts of each material is not a simple matter as, it requires consideration of the inputs of matter and energy throughout each stage of the life cycle of each product. This paper reviews the functions of packaging materials and environmental impacts that packaging has, reflecting our changing lifestyle.

 

Keywords : Environment, Packaging, Solid waste, Materials, Climate change

 

 

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