2 September 2014

Science: Recycling Paper and Plastics

it is important to reuse things than discarding them as waste. Many nice articles can be made out of waste. 
Industries use recycled or waste paper to regenerate paper. Paper that is suitable for recycling is called "scrap paper". You can recycle old newspapers, magazines, notebooks and used envelopes, but not waxed paper, oil-soaked paper, paper contaminated with food, carbon paper, thermal fax paper, plastic laminated paper, stickers, and sanitary products or tissues.

Steps involved in recycling paper

  • Tear paper into small pieces.
  • Soak these pieces in water for a day.
  • Make a thick paste and spread it on a net or sieve.
  • Let water drain off completely.
  • Use an old cloth or newspaper to remove the extra water from the paste and dry it.
  • Use this paste to get beautiful patterns.

Disadvantages of using of polythene bags

We use many plastic items such as tooth brush, combs, containers, bottles, shoes, toys, wires, frames and bags every day. Certain parts of vehicles like cars and buses, and electronic goods like radios, televisions and refrigerators, are all made of plastic. All these are useful to us in many ways, but using plastic is very harmful in terms of health and as well as the environment.
Plastics are not suitable for storing cooked food because they emit harmful chemicals when they are exposed to high temperatures. Using plastics causes health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and reproductive dysfunction. Harmful gases are emitted from burning plastics, which cause cancer and they kill living beings.
That is why plastics should be disposed in the right way.
Plastics that do not contain the chemical, BPA, are usually licensed for storing food items. 
Plastics thrown casually get into drains and sewages, often blocking the way and causing water-logging. A major cause of the floods in Mumbai, India, in August 2005 was the choking of the drainage system by plastic waste. So polythene bags should not be used for garbage disposal.

Measures taken to prevent from the dangerous effects of plastics:

Adopt healthy practices such as:
  • Reduce, reuse and recycle plastics.
  • Carry  jute or cloth bags for shopping
  • Do not store food items in plastic bags.
  • Do not burn plastic items.
  • Recycle plastics so that new plastic items can be made.
  • Waste that does not decompose should be put in blue dustbins, while waste that decomposes easily should be put in green dustbins.


Conversion of the waste generated in the kitchen into organic matter with the combined action of earthworms and micro-organisms is called vermicomposting. The organic matter so formed is used as manure for plants.