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The urbanization process brings economic and social transformations that are

important drivers of development, but it also brings an enormous stress on the


environment and sustainable development challenges such as the reduction of green
space, greater impermeable coverage and air and noise pollution (United Nations -
Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2014, Gredilla et al., 2017). Plastics due to
their versatile nature are being widely employed in human lives. Chemically, these
plastics are non-biodegradable and can add to ground and water pollution; these factors
make their disposal a topic of major concern (Ryan et al., 2009; Thompson et al., 2009a).
For instance, the neutralization of the amount of plastic packaging waste from year to
year is becoming an increasingly serious problem.

Plastics are a material used all over the world in many branches of industry. They
have gained popularity thanks to such features as: strength, durability, flexibility, and
resistance to environmental factors. However, the beneficial and sought-after
characteristics of plastics constitute a serious problem when they become waste. The use
of existing and widely commercialised polymers has become a disposal problem due to
the time they take to decompose naturally and the impact they have in the environment
during the degradation process. Several methodologies and actions have been proposed
to tackle this problem, ranging from the development of biodegradable materials to more
sustainable recycling methods. For example, an increasing emphasis is being placed on
raising the amount of materials recycled and on reducing the amount of packaging used
by consumers [Act of 13 June 2013, Jacobsen et al. 2018, Wróblewska-Krepsztul et al.
2018].

Here are some of the actions taken by the population all around the world to reduce
the plastic waste or convert them into something useful. Some of the methods used to
manage plastic waste include: land-filling, incineration, chemical recycling and
mechanical processes. Mechanical recycling allows reuse of the plastic solid waste to
form a new product with the same inherent characteristics. On the other hand, methods
that include dissolution processes are among those proposed as the most
environmentally friendly and profitable (Y.-B. Zhao et al. 2018). Besides, plastic bag
wastes (PE) are used to improve the workability of concrete and expected to reduce the
plastic wastes in our environment. Polymer products such as synthetic fibers, plastics and
rubbers are belonged to petrochemical compound and considered as non-biodegradable
materials. One way of reducing the plastic wastes is by utilizing the plastic wastes in the
production of concrete. Biodegradable materials should decompose under the influence
of macro- and microorganisms. The oxo-degradable plastics are also decomposed with
the participation of living organisms, but the initiation of the process requires an additional
factor (thermal energy, UV radiation).

On the other hand, the Circular Economy and the Bioeconomy are two of these
processes that set the waste management sector in a central position, as a key actor to
achieve the envisaged goals of these two transition processes, by closing the loops
between production and waste among industrial sectors, with the aim of minimising the
generation of waste rather than simply recycling what materials are left over after
beneficial use by industry and consumers.

The plastic packaging can be replaced with products made of biodegradable and
oxobiodegradable polymers, which may be broken down in the environment in a shorter
time. Polymers are used both for the production of bags for biodegradable waste, as well
as shopping bags, labeled by the producers as “compostable”, “biodegradable”, etc.
Therefore, they are often used to collect bio-waste, with which they go to installations
intended for their processing, e.g. composting plant. However, contrary to the information
on the package, not all are decomposed under the conditions prevailing in composting
plants.

Generation of wastes increases exponentially with the advancement of lifestyle,


and out of different types of wastes in this planet, a behemoth portion of the waste is
constituted of varying polymers. Researches are going on to mitigate this threat of
leviathan quantities of waste plastics around the globe. As some of the examples, a report
about the alternative, environmentally friendly and cheaper recycling process for
recovering expanded polystyrene at room temperature based on commercial essential
oils used without further purification is found. This is because the disposal of expanded
polystyrene contributes to the current pollution problem. To deal with such issues, there
are different recycling methods. However, most of these options are expensive and
environmentally unfriendly. There are also researchers focused on finding effective
alternative for disposal of waste plastic bags by designing tiles with better mechanical
strength, reduced flammability level, resistance against strong acids and bases and
organic solvents, so that tiles can be used for designing structures for paver tiles for
societal usage.