Plastic is ageneral term for synthetic or semi-synthetic material made from wide range oforganic polymer such as polyethylene, PVC, nylon that can be moulded into anystructure or sculpture while soft and set into rigid or slightly rigid form.Plastics canbe said as a building materials as they are being used for various purposes inour daily life (Gnanavel et al.,2012) everywhere we look we will find plastics.We use plastic products to make our lives cleaner, easier, safer and moreenjoyable.
We can find plastics in the clothes we wear, the houses we live in,and the cars we travel in. The toys we play with, the televisions we watch, thecomputers we use and the CDs we listen are all made up of plastics. Even fromthe toothbrush we use to the most sophisticated machines use every day containsplastics!The term ”plastic” is derived from the Greek word ”plastikos” meaning fitfor moulding into any shape and size, and ”plastos” meaning moulded. Plasticrefers to the material’s malleability, or plasticity properties exhibitedduring manufacture, that allows it to be cast, pressed, or extruded into avariety of shapes – such as films, fibres, plates, tubes, bottles, boxes, andmuch more.
Plastic material can be categorized into two broad categories: Thermoplasticsand Thermosetting plastics. Thermoplastics are those substances that can beheated up to form products and then if these end products are re-heated, theplastic will soften and melt again. In contrast, thermoset plastics arethose substances that can be melted and formed, but once they take shape afterthey have solidified, they stay solid and, unlike thermoplastics cannot be remelted. Need to biodegrade plasticOnce discarded, plastic materials can takecenturies to break down or to degrade. They clog up landfills and overburdenwaste-processing facilities they causes the environmental pollution by gettingaccumulated in the environment this takes place because of their stable nature(Hemashenpagam et al.,2013;).
In most of the countries this plastic pollutionis caused due to improper recycling and waste management systems (Jayasiri etal, 2013). Biodegradation is a process in which we include microorganisms suchas bacteria and fungi that has the capacity to degrade the polythene and hencethe process of Biodegradation is one of the most trendy topic in the field ofdegradation of harmful waste (Gu et al,2000). The microbial degradation ofplastic is carried out by enzymatic activities which leads to the breakdown ofpolymer into monomers and oligomers followed by metabolism by microbial cells.Aerobic metabolism leads to the production of carbon dioxide and water(Starnecker and Menner,1996) and on the other side of the coin anaerobicmetabolism leads to the production of carbon dioxide, water and methane as theend products (Gu et al.,2000). Worldwide utilization of polyethylene isincreasing at a rate of 12% per annum and approximately 140 million tones ofsynthetic polymers are produced each year (Shimao, 2001). It takes thousands ofyears for their efficient degradation.
Huge amount of polythene gettingaccumulated in the environment, so their disposal creates a big problem in