The Kerala State Pollution Control Board (PCB) is holding talks with Malabar Cements Ltd. to implement a unique project to check the menace of plastic waste.

The board has proposed that the non-recyclable plastic waste generated in each district could be used as an alternative fuel in high temperature cement kilns aimed at making cities and towns plastic-free.

Senior officials of the board told The Hindu that this recommendation forms part of an extensive project being designed by the monitoring agency to resolve the issue of piling up of plastic waste across the State.

Waste segregation

According to the plan proposal, the local bodies in the State will segregate non-recyclable plastic from the waste generated in each region.

This will be taken to the cement factory for incineration. Local bodies would be required to segregate the non-reusable plastic waste and transport it at their own cost to the cement unit for processing.

The board will act as the facilitator for the project.

Officials said the incineration at the cement kiln at a high temperature would be a safe method to dispose of the plastic waste.

Cement kilns provide extremely high destruction removal efficiency for the plastic waste at a temperature of 1,400 degree Celsius.

Reducing emissions

Experts said that cement industries could cut back coal usage in kilns and opt for blending of plastic refuse from municipal garbage for incineration to achieve the twin benefits of reducing carbon emissions and lower inorganic solid pollution load on the environment.

Many local bodies in Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh had already signed agreements with cement units in their region to facilitate disposal of non-reusable plastic waste through co-processing at cement kilns.

The Central Pollution Control Board had also granted permission to many cement plants to co-process the hazardous and non-hazardous waste in cement kilns.

Stack monitoring results analysed by the board revealed that emission values were found below the standard set for common hazardous waste incinerators.

Board officials said that Malabar Cements management had reacted positively to the proposal.

Details of the agreement to be signed with local bodies will be worked out soon.

Keywords: plastic waste

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