come up with a set of recommendations for managing solid
waste, including biomedical and plastic waste, causing
environmental problems during COVID-19 pandemic situation.
A recent study by the researchers has led to the
formulation of the recommendations which include adoption of
"eco-friendly bioplastics and biodegradable materials with
higher recyclability", the institute said in a statement on
"While reduced economic activities due to COVID-19
have certainly made air and water cleaner as per many reports,
change in the dynamics of plastic, food, and biomedical waste
generation has however stirred the woes of solid waste
management," the statement said.
The researchers have explored the challenges faced by
the solid waste management sector during the pandemic and the
underlying opportunities to fill existing loopholes in the
system, it said.
The study, led by Prof Brajesh Kumar Dubey of IIT
Kharagpur''s Department of Civil Engineering, emphasised on
sustainable technologies and development of green business
models by analysing economic prospects in the post-pandemic
"It should be well understood that the mess created by
the COVID-19 crisis should not be solved at the expense of
solving the longer-term issue of the climate crisis.
"The post-COVID-19 world would need a systems-level
approach on a global scale to address the issue of solid waste
management and protect our environment with low carbon
footprint," Dubey was quoted as saying in the statement.
The study recommends the adoption of new technologies
in solid waste management using "socially viable designs
scoring high on environmental and economic feasibility", he
"Incentive policy could be introduced for adopting
eco-friendly bioplastics, biodegradable materials with higher
recyclability. This would enable the standardisation of
plastic products and packaging leading to economic recycling
models," he said.
Artificial Intelligence-powered sustainable
technologies can be deployed to manage efficient sorting and
recycling of waste.
This shall be further supported by means of "refuse,
reduce, reuse and recycle" mantra of the circular economy, he
said. PTI SUS SBN