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Natural Resources Conservation and Advances for Sustainability
2022, Pages 533-544

Utilization of three indigenous plant species as alternative to plastic can reduce pollution and bring sustainability in the environment

Abdullaha, Shujaul Mulk Khana,b, Zahoor Ul Haqa, Noreen Khalidc, Zeeshan Ahmada, Ujala Ejaza

Department of Plant Sciences, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Abstract

Unprecedented increase in the rate of environmental pollution is a serious issue throughout the globe. Every day we release huge quantity of the industrial, municipal, and agricultural wastes into the environment that causes serious diseases in human beings as well as in animals. Annually, about 2.01 billion metric tons of waste is produced worldwide. According to an estimate of the World Bank by 2050, the waste production will increase up to 3.4 billion metric tons. Keeping in mind the serious issue of waste production, we need to focus on the importance of plant-based handicrafts to be used as alternatives to items formed of synthetic and semisynthetic polymers. Phoenix dactylifera L. (Date palm), Nannorrhops ritchieana (Griff.) Aitch (Mazri palm), and Typha domingensis Pers. (Narrowleaf cattail) are the plant species having great potential of fibers. Various types of bags, mats, hats, baskets, ropes, box. etc. are formed from these plants. People use these handicrafts as alternatives to plastic items. In the year of 2019, when the Government of Pakistan (GoP) banned the polythene (plastic) shopping bags throughout the country the demand of plant-based handicrafts increased tremendously. Any success of the ban against plastic bags would solely depend on the massive production of their alternate which could be environmentally friendly such as plants-based items. This chapter elucidate that plant-based items having more environmental benefits than commodities formed of synthetic and semisynthetic polymers. Therefore, to overcome the substantial increase in environmental pollution and to address sustainability and balance between nature and human population, plant-based items should be used.

Keywords: Plant-based handicrafts, Plastic items and pollution, Alternatives, Human civilization, Phyto-remediation, Eco-friendly alternatives, Sustainability.

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