Vice-President calls for responsible use of plastics

AMARAVATI: Vice-President M Venkaiah  Naidu on Monday asked research institutes like the CIPET to focus on the development of eco-friendly products like biodegradable plastics as durability and longevity of plastics have posed several challenges to the environment.

Addressing the faculty and students of the Central Institute for Petrochemicals Engineering and Technology at Surampalli near Vijayawada, the Vice-President noted that avoiding (use of) plastic was not the solution but ensuring its responsible use and recycling were important.

He said plastics played a significant role during the Covid-19 pandemic through their wide use in medical protection equipment and PPE kits.

“Plastic has been a saviour in preventing the spread (of coronavirus). The disposable plastic syringes, blood bags, gloves and other medical solutions with enhanced features and functionality have proven their worth during this difficult time,” he observed.

“The problem is not with plastic. The problem lies in our attitude towards handling plastic. Improper littering habits and lack of awareness on plastics waste management have resulted in many hazards,” he pointed out.

The “3Rs”  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle  with segregation were the key to recycling and realising “waste to wealth,” he said, adding the waste management mark in India was expected to be worth USD 13.62 billion by the year 2025.

The plastics recycling market alone was expected to grow at 6.5 per cent to attain a market size of USD 53.72 billion by the end of 2023, he added.

Venkaiah Naidu noted that the growth of petrochemicals and chemicals has become inevitable as the demand in India was expected to grow at 7.5 per cent by the financial year 2023.

Demand for polymers, an integral part of the petrochemical sector, was also growing at eight per cent.

Polymeric materials were also being widely used to create medical tools and devices like insulin pens, catheters, implants and tissue engineering as well.

Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Regions were being set up in coastal states like Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Odisha to promote the use of polymers and allied materials for various high-end applications, Venkaiah Naidu said.

Expressing happiness over the functioning of CIPET-AP, for which he laid the foundation-stone four years ago, Venkaiah Naidu said the premier institute’s pattern already fell in line with the requirements of the National Education Policy-2020 that focused on skill and application-based learning.

The research and development wings of CIPET catered to aerospace, automotive, agriculture, construction, healthcare, energy and packaging sectors with a focus on development of sustainable materials, recycling strategies and energy storage.

“The R and D wings have close alliance with major players like Boeing, Ford, Pepsi, BEL, HAL, NTPC and others for development, implementation and validation of futuristic ideas. CIPET has so far completed 50 major research projects and 12 patents were filed,” the Vice-President said.

State Minister V Srinivas, Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals Joint Secretary K N Jha, CIPET Director General S K Naik and other officials were present.

On the occasion, the Vice-President inspected an exhibition of products manufactured by CIPET students and lauded their efforts. (AGENCIES)