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Plastic is one of the major factors causing damage to the environment around the world. ‘Plastic’ is derived from the Greek words plastikos and plastose, which mean flexible or that can be molded, bent or shaped as desired. In the 21st century, plastic has emerged as a big problem among the major sources of environmental pollution, the dangers of which are troubling the whole world. In the Canadian city of Halifax, in the year 2018, an emergency had to be imposed due to plastic waste. In India too, the problem of plastic pollution is getting worse day by day, which is not only taking a toll on nature in every respect, but is also emerging as a big threat to the life of mankind as well as every living being on earth. . This is the reason why the Government of India has announced a ban on the use of single-use plastic items from July 1 in the direction of making the country a ‘Single Use Plastic Free India’. According to the Ministry of Environment, there will be a ban on the production, import, storage, distribution, sale and use of single-use plastics including polystyrene and expanded polystyrene.

Plastics contain many such chemicals, which give rise to many serious diseases including cancer and heart disease. Today no part of the country is untouched by plastic waste and plastic has now become such an important part of common life that despite all the efforts, success is not being achieved in curbing it, nor is it any reliable source till now. Couldn’t find the option. It is also interesting and important to know that when and how was plastic discovered?

The man-made plastic ‘Parkesine’ was first patented in 1856 by Alexander Parkes of Birmingham, England, which came to the world in its original form in 1862, when it was first placed at the International Exhibition in London in 1862. Was. Materials such as natural rubber, gelatin, collagen, nitrocellulose were the first materials available before plastics. In 1866, Alexander Parks started mass production by forming the Parkesine Company. Polythene is the world’s most popular plastic, which was first discovered suddenly in the year 1898 by Hans von Pachmann of Germany. While doing an experiment in the laboratory, he observed the formation of a white colored wax-like substance, which was named polythene. Plastics began to be made in 1900, using phenol and formaldehyde, and commercial production of plastics made from casein began in Germany and France.

Dr. Leo Hendrik Baekeland, an American citizen of Belgian origin, also played an important role in making plastics, who in 1907 made some changes in the reaction of phenol and formaldehyde to synthetically create a plastic that could be used in many industries. He heated a mixture of phenol and formaldehyde, which on cooling gave a hard substance. Later, he made many more things by mixing wood sawdust, asbestos and slate powder in it. The new plastic was named ‘Bakelite’ in 1912 after Bakeland. After this invention, Baekeland had also said that if he is not wrong, then this invention of his (Bakelite) will prove to be important for the future.

After the First and Second World Wars, there was tremendous development in the technology of making plastics. Industrially, polythene was invented by accident on 27 March 1933 in the city of Northwich, Cheshire, UK. A team of chemists was exploring polymers at the ICI Wellerscott plant. During that same night, his attempt failed by accident, but during the same search, a white colored substance came out, which according to the discoverers was not quite right. The young chemist, George Fitchum, who was present there, became a witness to this invention. Although at that time he also did not know what this liquid is and whether it is good or bad. This material took the form of polythene industrially. This discovery of polythene which can be used in daily life was recognized worldwide.

The discovery of plastic was considered a revolutionary discovery for human civilization because before that the things which were made from other materials like iron, wood etc., many such things started to be made from plastic. Actually plastic was better than other materials for many reasons. The items made from it neither break quickly, nor do they rot like wood or paper, nor do these items rust like iron in any environment. Any type of environment does not affect the plastic quickly. Products made of plastic are cheaper and longer lasting than those made of iron or other metals, so the use of plastic has increased continuously in the modern era. Since plastic is a poor conductor of electricity and its life is also very long, therefore, keeping in view these characteristics, electrical equipment is also made from it.

The biggest feature of plastic is that it can be easily changed into any shape and by adding any other substance inside it to make other things, which prove to be very durable. This is the reason that today plastic has become an integral part of our lifestyle, which is being used to fulfill all our daily needs. In the last century, when plastic was discovered in various forms, it was considered a great success of human civilization and science, but today this plastic has become the web of the earth’s people, so to get rid of it, in the initial phase, single-use Steps have been taken towards getting rid of plastic.

Actually, polythene is the biggest obstacle in the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ today and the reason for campaigning against single use plastic is that if its use is not stopped then a new form of land conservation will emerge and then the productivity of the land will be regained. would be impossible. Along with the development, plastic waste is increasing in all the cities of the country and due to this, due to the polythene scattered all around, the drainage systems in almost all the cities remain stalled. Non-biodegradable plastic bags take a long time of about a thousand years to decompose in the ground, which simply and clearly means that we will be polluting the earth for the next one thousand years by using these bags for our little facilities. are. That is why banning various forms of plastic for the betterment of the environment is now the biggest demand of the time.

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