Not just ban plastic, ban thermocol too
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We really appreciate ban on polythene by NGT in NCR. Further, we request NGT and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to put a ban on thermocol too. Comparatively, thermocol is ecologically more dangerous than plastic. Though both plastic and thermocol are non-biodegradable, plastic is easily recyclable while thermocol is not.
Thermocol is non-biodegradable because it is photolysis resistant. Thermocol needs a very long time to degrade naturally in the environment. Hence, thermocol is burnt to reduce the waste but incinerating thermocol is more harmful than littering those in our environment.
In 2002, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has showed that styrene may contain carcinogens and increase the risks of cancer in humans. In 2014, a report released by National Toxicological Program also classified styrene as a carcinogen and can cause lymphoma and leukemia cancer upon prolonged exposure.
Thermocol is majorly used as inner packaging in many industries, as disposable utensils and by students in craft, all this thermocol goes in to environment. Thermocol is replete with several pollutants that pollute our environment and are toxic to the human health. Some of these pollutants include:
a) Hydrofluorocarbon: One of the major contributors to global warming, the use of hydroflurocarbon has been curtailed. However, it is still in use although it is increasingly replaced by pentane and carbon dioxide in the production of thermocol.
b) Benzene: Benzene is one of the major carcinogens and has been found to cause severe leukemia cancers in patients.
c) Dioxins: Dioxins are responsible for problems found in hormonal changes and immune levels and also affect the development of fetus.
Now many other alternatives of thermocol are available in India such as fiber papers and pulp, but due to resistance to change, ignorance of environment protection and profit before people approach among manufacturers and traders in India, it is important for regulatory authorities to enact strict norms, so that people shift to environment friendly alternatives of thermocol, thus we request NGT and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to take a step further in saving our environment by banning thermocol.
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