The Challenges of Plastic Waste Management in the Developing World
The Challenges of Plastic Waste Management in the Developing World

The Challenges of Plastic Waste Management in the Developing World

by Jeffrey Seay, PhD, PE

Mismanaged plastic waste is now a critical challenge around the world, but especially in developing countries. These pictures from the Kasenyi garbage dump near Entebbe, Uganda show the extent of the crisis. Even when people collect and properly dispose of their personal plastic waste, it often still ends up in an unmanaged dump, where wind and rain carry it off to end up in the ecosystem. An improperly managed garbage dump is really not much better than dumping plastic waste into a ditch in terms of long term sequestration. Unfortunately, there is often no other alternative for low value plastic waste. Of course, long term solutions require a dramatic reduction of the amount of single use plastic imported into these countries, but there is also an immediate need to implement solutions to address the plastic collecting in garbage dumps right now. Solutions that are low-cost, easy to operate and deploy, safe, and needed right away. Converting plastic waste to trash via Trash-to-Tank technology is one potential solution. Follow our blog to learn more and see how Engineers for Sustainable Energy Solutions is working to solve this growing crisis.

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