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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 57-60

Knowledge, attitude and practice on uses of plastic products, their disposal and environmental pollution: A study among school-going adolescents


Department of Community Medicine, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Sawangi, Wardha, Maharashtra, India

Date of Submission28-Jan-2019
Date of Decision18-Apr-2019
Date of Acceptance24-Jun-2019
Date of Web Publication25-Nov-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Najnin Khanam
Department of Community Medicine, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Sawangi, Wardha, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jdmimsu.jdmimsu_27_19

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  Abstract 


Background: Toxic gases and carcinogens released from manufacturing and burning of plastics cause environmental pollution. Aims and Objectives: The objectives of this study are to study the knowledge, attitude, and practice on uses of plastic products, their disposal and environmental pollution among school-going adolescents. Materials and Methods: The cross-sectional study was undertaken in one of the senior secondary schools of Wardha city. Purposive sampling was done. Seventh standard students who were present on the day of data collection and willing to participate were instructed to fill up the pro forma. Results: The hazards of plastics could be reduced by their reduced usage (75.78%) and reuse at home (41.05%) followed by segregation and proper disposal (12%). Students (26.32%) told that plastics are not biodegradable. Students (37.89%) had knowledge regarding plastic bags banned in Wardha city. Students (35.79%) knew about fine imposed for using plastic bags. Main source of information was school (83.15%) followed by television and radio (80%) and parents (24.21%). Students (65.26%) agreed for ban on plastic bag usage, whereas 69.48% of students agreed to campaign for harmful effect of plastics in daily use. Conclusions: Proper disposal of plastic waste reflected the habit of family is a thrust area which needs to be improved. Good thing is that students are having attitude to give up the use of plastic bags and to aware others about the ill health of using plastics.

Keywords: Adolescent, environment pollution, plastic


How to cite this article:
Khanam N, Wagh V, Gaidhane AM, Quazi SZ. Knowledge, attitude and practice on uses of plastic products, their disposal and environmental pollution: A study among school-going adolescents. J Datta Meghe Inst Med Sci Univ 2019;14:57-60

How to cite this URL:
Khanam N, Wagh V, Gaidhane AM, Quazi SZ. Knowledge, attitude and practice on uses of plastic products, their disposal and environmental pollution: A study among school-going adolescents. J Datta Meghe Inst Med Sci Univ [serial online] 2019 [cited 2019 Dec 9];14:57-60. Available from: http://www.journaldmims.com/text.asp?2019/14/2/57/271549




  Introduction Top


Plastic waste pollutes air, earth, and water. Manufacturing and burning of plastics cause emissions of toxic gases and carcinogens (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, dioxin, etc.). The dioxin affects the immune and reproductive system. Hormonal disruption and growth problems are also observed with dioxin. Chemical additives (phthalates) used to make plastic soft and malleable that can offgas and contaminate air in our home and personal space. Plastic waste includes items as bags (44.6%), bottles/caps/lids (29.4%), and others (26%), and their life is approximately minimum 10 years to maximum 500 years or above.[1] Because of indiscriminate dumping of plastic bags on land, toxic metals such as cadmium and lead pigments percolate into underground water. Garbage mixed with plastic bags interferes in waste processing facilities and causes problems in landfill operations.[2] Disposal of plastic through recycling, burning, or land filling is a myth because it does not undergo bacterial decomposition. Legislation made for ban of plastic bag usage has been largely ineffective because of improper enforcement.[3] Large proportion of people does not value environmental hazards due to plastic waste. Contamination of water, soil, and the air we breathe occurs because of the dumping of plastic bags into rivers, streams, and sea.[4] Although ban of plastic bag usage and reusing and recycling of plastics are attractive steps to reduce environmental pollution, recycling is costly and is not bio-friendly. With increasing knowledge about biodegradable properties and recyclable qualities of plastics, better control over reduced use plastic can be expected from future adult who are present adolescents. Keeping this in mind, the present study was done regarding the knowledge, attitude, and practice on uses of plastic products, their disposal, and environmental pollution among school-going adolescents.


  Materials and Methods Top


The study was undertaken in one of the senior secondary schools of Wardha city. Wardha city is one of the 36 districts in the Maharashtra state of western India. It was a school-based cross-sectional study. Purposive sampling was done. Seventh standard students who were present on the day of data collection and willing to participate were instructed to fill up the pro forma. Total numbers of participants were 95. The study was conducted from August 2018 to October 2018. A pretested semi-structured questionnaire was used for data collection. At the beginning of the study, objectives, purpose, and study tools were explained to the school higher authority and to the study participants. Data analysis was performed using the statistical software IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 21.0 (Released 2012) IBM Cor, Armonk, NY.


  Results Top


As shown in [Table 1], it was observed that 88.42% of students had knowledge that plastic waste causes health hazards, and furthermore, 74.74% had knowledge that storing hot food items in plastics are injurious to health. However, more than half (66.32%) said that plastics are not recyclable; 37.89% said that plastics are not banned in Wardha city; and nearly, one-fourth (26.32%) said that plastics are not biodegradable. 44.21% of students had no idea that in Maharashtra, violators of the plastic ban are fined and 15.79% had no idea that plastic used for packaging medicines, milk, and handling of solid waste which are excluded from the ban.
Table 1: Knowledge of students on plastic wastes

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[Figure 1] shows the knowledge of students on problems associated with plastic wastes. Students (89.47%) said that plastic wastes cause human health problems. [Figure 2] shows the knowledge of students on the source of information about plastic wastes. Students (83.15%) received information from school followed by television and radio (80%) and parents (24.21%). [Figure 3] shows the knowledge of students on alternatives of plastic bags. Eighty percent told that cloth bags are the alternative to plastic bag, followed by paper bags (75.78%) and jute bags (64.21%). [Figure 4] shows the knowledge of students on various ways to reduce the hazards of plastics. Students (75.78%) said to reduce the use of plastic followed by their reuse at home (41.05%). Twenty percent of students had no idea about ways to reduce the hazards of plastics.
Figure 1: Knowledge of students on problems associated with plastic wastes (multiple response)

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Figure 2: Knowledge of students on the source of information about plastic wastes (multiple response)

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Figure 3: Knowledge of students on alternatives of plastic bags (multiple response)

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Figure 4: Knowledge of students on ways to reduce the hazards of plastics (multiple response)

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[Table 2] shows sixty percent agreed for the utilization of plastic bags can be reduced and 46.31% agreed for reusing of plastic products helps to reduce its hazards. Students (65.26%) agreed for ban on plastic bag usage, whereas 69.48% agreed to campaign for harmful effect of plastics in daily use.
Table 2: Attitude of students regarding plastics

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[Table 3] shows nobody separated waste of plastics, paper, glass, etc., before their disposal according to respondent (85.27%). Students responded that the various methods of disposal of plastic wastes were throw in drain and burning (84.21%) followed by throwing in open space (74.73%), dump on dumping site (53.68%), and public garbage bin and reuse (48.42%).
Table 3: Practice of students and in their family

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  Discussion Top


The environment in which we live greatly influences our health. The household, workplace, outdoor, and indoor environments may pose risks to health in a number of different ways. Among them, poor quality of air which we may breathe causes various diseases. Burning plastic products were major contribution to environmental pollution. Knowledge, attitude, and practice on uses of plastic products, their disposal and environmental pollution, were necessary for each person. Regarding knowledge, in this study, 89.47% students said that plastic wastes cause human health problems, animal death (73.68%), and destruction of natural beauty of environment (75.78%), whereas Kanagabala et al.[5] in their study reported that plastics are hazardous to human health (94.7%), animals (96.6%), and environment (99.5%), and Adane and Muleta [6] reported human health problems (51.73%), animal death (72.60%), and destruction of the natural beauty of the environment (62.60%). In all the three studies, it was observed that more than half of the participants said that plastic wastes cause human, animal, and environmental problems. A study done by Adane and Muleta [6] also observed that majority of the respondents (58.26%) appreciated the important roles of radio and TV in the dissemination of information about adverse impacts of plastic bag wastes followed by schools (27.82%) and published materials (19.13%). In this study, students responded that 83.15% received information regarding the sources of plastic wastes from school followed by television and radio (80%) and published materials (17.89%). In this study, only 9.47% of participants were aware that plastic products are recyclable, whereas Kanagabala et al.[5] in their study reported 94.2% and Joseph et al.[7] reported 71.6%. This study shows that 80% of students had knowledge that cloth bags are the alternative to plastic bag, followed by paper bags (75.78%) and jute bags (64.21%), whereas Kanagabala et al.[5] reported 95.6% of participants had knowledge that cloth bags are the alternative to plastic bag, followed by paper bags (35.5%) and jute bags (31.1%). In both the study, it was observed that more than three-fourth of the participants said that cloth bags are the alternative to plastic bags. Kanagabala et al.[5] also reported that segregation (12.1%), reduce the usage (63.1%), and proper disposal (49%) are the ways to reduce the hazards of plastics, whereas this study reported that segregation and proper disposal (12%) and reduce the usage (75.78%) are the ways to reduce the hazards of plastics.

In this study, 65.26% participants agreed for ban on plastic bag usage and 69.48% agreed to campaign for harmful effect of plastics in daily use. Whereas study done by Kanagabala et al.[5] reported 88.3% strongly favored the ban on plastic bags usage and Joseph et al.[7] reported 77.9%. Malik and Roy [8] reported that 75% of respondents had favorable attitude on plastic waste management. Regarding practice, in this study, participants responded that the various methods of disposal of plastic wastes were throwing into drain and burning (84.21%) followed by throwing in open space (74.73%), dump on dumping site (53.68%), public garbage bin and reuse (48.42%), and sell to agent for recycle (36.84%), whereas Adane and Muleta [6] reported plastic bag waste disposal by open dumping (59.56%), burning (40.86%), and burying (18.69%). Kanagabala et al.[5] reported that the various methods of disposal of plastic products were burning (48.5%), garbage truck (27%), throwing in open space (13.1%), and dump on dumping site (9.2%). Kakoti [2] reported that various techniques of disposal of polythene bags were public garbage bin (86%), open dumping (62%), burning (56%), throw in drain (42%), and burying (22%). All mentioned studies reported burning plastics; one of the methods of disposal of plastic wastes but burning plastic releases dangerous substances into the air. Such pollutants contribute to the development of asthma, cancer, endocrine disruption, and the global burden of disease.[8]


  Conclusions Top


Majority of the adolescents had knowledge that improper disposal of plastic waste causes health hazards but many of them had no idea about the biodegradable properties of plastics. Students also had the knowledge that cloth bags are the alternative to plastic bag, the only thing is that strong motivation is required to adopt alternatives to plastic bags. Regarding plastic waste management, students had a positive attitude toward ban on plastic bag usage and campaign for the harmful effect of plastics in daily use. Maximum students said that nobody at home separated waste of plastics, paper, glass etc., before their disposal, and burning is one of the methods of disposal of plastic wastes, which causes significant environmental pollution. What needed is to think about our planet Earth for our survival.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Sandipan DS. The concept of control and manage plastic pollution of India/world. Int J Eng Sci 2016;5:1-7.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Kakoti R. Uses of plastic bags and environmental hazard – A study in Guwahati city. Int J Appl Res 2017;3:1088-94.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Gupta K, Somanathan R. Consumer Response to Incentives to Reduce Plastic Bag Use: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Urban India. Delhi: Delhi School of Economics; 2011. Available from: http://www. isid.ac.in/~pu/conference/dec_11_conf/Papers/KanupriyaGupta.pdf. [Last accessed on 2019 July 13].  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Hopewell J, Dvorak R, Kosior E. Plastics recycling: Challenges and opportunities. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 2009;364:2115-26.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Kanagabala B, William RF, Thirunaaukarasu D, Jennifer HG. Knowledge, attitude and practice on domestic usage of plastics in a rural area of Kancheepuram. Natl J Res Community Med 2018;7:27-31.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Adane L, Muleta D. Survey on the usage of plastic bags, their disposal and adverse impacts on environment: A case study in Jimma city, Southwestern Ethiopia. J Toxicol Environ Health Sci 2011;3:234-48.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Joseph N, Kumar A, Majgi SM, Kumar GS, Prahalad RB. Usage of plastic bags and health hazards: A study to assess awareness level and perception about legislation among a small population of Mangalore city. J Clin Diagn Res 2016;10:LM01-4.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Malik H, Roy K. A descriptive study to assess the knowledge and attitude of adolescents regarding mismanagement of plastic wastes and its environmental hazards in selected community area, Nelamangala. Int J Sci Res 2017;6:677-80.  Back to cited text no. 8
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4]
 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]



 

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