Impact of Non-Compostable Waste in Waste Management Cycle

In absence of proper waste segregation and waste management protocols, urban household garbage that is routinely discarded contains a mixture of the both compostable waste as well as non-compostable waste.  Compostable waste are environmentally less hazardous when compared with non-compostable items such as plastic bags, electronic items, old school bags, old plastic buckets, utensils, batteries, blades etc., In this article let us consider the impact of old school bags in waste segregation and management process.  Generally School bag are manufactured using one of the following raw material:

  • Cotton Canvas
  • Rexine
  • Polyester
  • Polyurethane coated Nylon (Kodra nylon)
  • Polyvinylchloride (PVC)

We can easily conclude from the above list that other than cotton canvas, all other raw materials pose considerable threat to nature if not disposed properly.  Of late, majority of the school bags are produced by making use of Polyester as the primary raw material. Raw materials for manufacturing school bags are selected on the basis of the following aspects:

  • Stiffness of the bag
  • Strength of the bag
  • Weight of the bag
  • Water resistance of the bag
  • Tear resistance of the bag
  • Bag lifetime
  • Manufacturing Cost of the bag

Let us now examine rexine raw-materials that are used in the manufacture of school bags.  The word “Rexin / Rexine” is the registered trademark of Rexine Ltd of Hyde, United Kingdom. Rexine is basically a synthetic material made up of cloth surfaced with a mixture of cellulose nitrate, camphor oil and alcohol.  The final product of this mixture produces artificial leather which is essentially an artificial leather cloth fabric.  Different design patterns are embossed on this Rexine fabric to make it resemble natural leather.  It is important to note that Rexine is a Non-Biodegradable Waste. However it is also important to note that Rexine is a recyclable waste.  Hence it becomes imperative that unless Rexine is disposed of in a recyclable process, it will not degrade naturally and will remain in garbage for a long time.



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