Elimination of environmental pollution has become complicated since almost two decades ago with the uncontrolled entry of irreversible plastic materials into nature. Perhaps less places and places can be found in the cities of our country that do not have a plastic container or a plastic bag.
During a visit to the border wall on the Iran-Pakistan border in Mirjavah, I even saw thousands of plastic pieces playing in the wind on the height of our border wall and on barbed wire. Plastic waste that lasts for years and is not destroyed. Even when we go to the mountains and plains to relax and have fun, the sight of plastic bags, dishes and scraps distorts our beautiful view. The prevalence of disposable plastic materials has become so widespread that some people even prefer to use these containers at home, while not knowing whether these containers, like other industrial waste, can be decomposed and returned to nature or not! The main disadvantages of this reckless consumerism are serious damage to the environment, national resources and human health.
Dr. Amirreza Hashemi, who is a designer of disposable vegetable containers and has registered it in his name, says in this regard: Our country is among the top five countries in the world in terms of per capita consumption of plastic, while for the decomposition of plastic containers 30 It takes up to 50 years for this time to cause serious and catastrophic damage to the environment. He adds: “The advantage of vegetable polymer and the production of disposable containers and bags from it, has the ability to decompose in 6 to 8 months, which does not harm nature.” Hashemi considers the main advantage of using these plant materials, which are made from starch, corn, honey wax, vegetable oils, fiber and cellulose, and natural additives, to maintain people’s health and reduce environmental pollution. “There are no restrictions on the packaging and use of disposable vegetable containers in terms of health risks,” he said. “Plastic disposable containers, in contact with hot food, release chemicals and enter the food, causing many Diseases are accompanied by symptoms such as muscle fatigue, irritation of the nervous system, and in the long run can be carcinogenic, so that diseases such as jaundice and lung, liver, and prostate cancers are observed in those who have used plastic containers continuously. He replaces plant containers as an effective factor to reduce these risks and adds: The ingredients of these containers are natural and have no chemical effect. Organizations have focused on replacing disposable plant containers with plastic ones.
The inventor adds disposable plant containers: These containers are formulated according to the European standard and should be destroyed up to 90% within 6 months. Referring to the fact that the Environment Organization has submitted a single article to the Cabinet in support of disposable plant containers, he says: The production of these products and investment in this sector, the cooperation of the Radio and Television in creating a culture for the use of these dishes have been emphasized with the Ministry of Health. Hashemi, pointing out that currently 10 factories in the country are active in the production of disposable plant containers, says: “The price of these containers is not different from plastic containers, and the important point is that plastic containers may be made of old materials.” And be offered at a high price, but in the case of vegetable dishes this is not possible.
He goes on to point out that the process of degradation of these plant containers in Shahid Beheshti University has been studied in collaboration with the environment, noting that four factors are influential in this regard; Soil microorganisms, soil temperature, soil moisture and landfill depth. Hashemi adds: “These factors are very effective in accelerating the decomposition rate of these containers and can shorten the decomposition time even in the best conditions.”
He announced that after the United States, Britain and Germany, Iran has also become one of the countries producing these vegetable dishes since 1984. He says: The production of these dishes has also started in Japan.
Regarding the other applications of plant polymers, Hashemi says: “These containers can be used as seedling pots, transplanting and vegetable cover in the production of horticultural and forestry products, and there is no need to remove seedlings and seedlings from the pot during planting.”
He adds: “In the medical industry, these polymers can also be used in the manufacture of disposable medical containers, intelligent coating of drugs.”
Making plant-based toys can also reduce the risk of chemicals, especially for children. Supply and sale can be used to package these plant polymers. Hashemi concludes by expressing hope that at the same time with 2015, when 70% of plant materials will replace plastics in the world, our country will be among the first users of these low-risk products.
Environment and the need to change dishes
The spread of environmental pollution due to the use of plastic disposable containers has made it necessary to replace vegetable disposable containers instead. Plant disposable containers are made from products such as wheat, corn and potatoes and have no harmful substances. According to Dr. Omidreza Hashemi, CEO of the company that produces disposable vegetable dishes: Last year
One thousand billion plastic bags and 120 million tons of disposable plastic containers were produced in the world, of which one and 35% were recycled, respectively. However, the waste of such containers takes 300 to 500 years to be absorbed by nature. In 1985, 570,000 tons of disposable plastic containers were used in various industries in Iran. For this reason, developed countries in the world are gradually replacing plastic containers with the production and use of disposable vegetable containers, and in our country, today’s necessities and tomorrow’s needs in the field of environmental protection and public health require that this replacement be done. Of course, serious government support can play a key role in this. Lack of attention to this issue leads to the disposal of waste plastic containers and their accumulation in nature and the environment. Over time, water and soil resources, seas, rivers and the life of living things and plants (www.reporter.ir).
Technological patent in Iran
Although Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States have a monopoly on the production of these containers and packages, Iran has also been able to set up this unit using edible corn starch and patent its technology, while in terms of Manufacture of equipment ید Production of this equipment has also become native to the country. At present, 14 plant container production units are operating in the country. In some producing countries, including Italy, the government supports these industries by paying subsidies to the producers of vegetable packaging containers and collecting taxes from the producers of plastic containers. However, in Iran, the producers of disposable plastic containers can convert raw materials. And change the product line to join the manufacturers of disposable vegetable containers. 90% of plastic disposable tableware manufacturers in the country use cheap and traditional machines, and if supported, they can change their production line to plant disposable tableware. It is the environment and the health of the citizens, and all governments pay for the recycling of plastics, the treatment of diseases, and the supply of medicine. According to him, the Ministries of Environment and Health of developed countries strongly support the industries and production lines of these containers. He wanted to replace disposable plant containers with plastic containers, but unfortunately, following this directive has not been appropriate and sufficient. The main trustee of these industries in the country can be called the Environmental Protection Organization, but unfortunately, this organization has not supported these industries due to its duties and mission in this field. The support of the municipality and the city council is also appropriate in this regard. Within the next month, all chain stores in Tehran will use vegetable containers for packing meat and poultry. The work of packing and coordinating the distribution of these containers will be done in the Women’s Entrepreneurship Center. The price of disposable vegetable containers is the same as new plastic containers, but unfortunately the price of plastic containers made from waste and ground materials is much lower than vegetable containers, and this has caused problems for manufacturers of new plastic containers ( www.reporter.ir).
Disposable tableware of chemical origin
Of course, we do not have accurate statistics on the consumption of disposable tableware in Iran, but it does not seem that the production figure of 570 thousand tons of plastic disposable tableware in 2006 in Iran is unrealistic because a large number of factories producing these tableware, volume Their production and the country’s petrochemical capacity can all confirm this statistic. The largest volume of our disposable utensils are polystyrene containers, these containers are in three types:
1- Clearly fragile,
3- They are offered semi-transparent and also foam
“Polystyrene” disposable containers, which are mainly available in the Iranian market, are composed of “styrene” monomer, which is an aromatic compound, and when exposed to temperatures above 65 degrees, this monomer is released, which has carcinogenic effects. In addition, some other disposable containers, such as magnesium, can be released by food heat, which is also carcinogenic.
In making these disposable containers, laser plastic materials are used to prevent fragility. Therefore, if boiling water or hot food such as soup is poured into these containers, these dissolved substances enter the body and due to having special compounds, lead to various cancers. However, experts acknowledge that this property is especially important in the case of transparent disposable containers that have a higher percentage of carcinogens and are more widely used in society, so the Ministry of Health, Food Storage, Transportation and Packaging Temperatures above 65 degrees are prohibited in polystyrene plastic containers.
Because fat accelerates the release of this toxic monomer, the packaging of fatty foods in such containers is also prohibited. These remarks are made while Iran seems to be one of the few countries in the world where the excessive use of disposable polystyrene plastic containers is common. If this production process is done properly and in accordance with the required standards, it is a problem for Sella
Matt does not create people. Therefore, one should be very careful in using plastics as food containers, and in addition, any type of plastic should not be allowed to pack food, in addition to the production of these containers is not standard in the country and there is no supervision over their production. The additives in them are not controlled in any way and the chemists do not supervise the production of these containers in any way.
But another important point in using disposable containers is related to the color of these containers, which requires more caution, because basically disposable materials are such that they can not retain the color and when in contact The color dissolves with tea or hot food and a layer of it is eaten with food or tea. However, in addition to the types of plastics that are used as disposable dishes in tea or food, another group of Materials are used as kitchen utensils, refrigerated food containers, food packaging containers, especially dairy products such as yogurt and cheese, as well as mineral water bottles, the use of which also requires special safety precautions. Acidic liquids in Stored inside these plastic containers, they also cause various cancers due to the dissolution of aromatic polymers.
However, although some experts believe that the use of disposable containers prevents the occurrence and spread of infectious diseases, chemical and environmental health experts have a completely opposite opinion that these containers may prevent the occurrence of infectious diseases. Because they are disposable, but it should be noted that PVC also leads to a variety of gastrointestinal and pulmonary disorders, in addition to cancer and other non-communicable diseases. It is said that the use of this type leads to more than 118 types of diseases for the consumer. The importance of this issue becomes clearer when we know that we spend a lot of money for cancer and gastrointestinal patients, but for infectious diseases. Which can be controlled, like intestinal fever and tuberculosis, we do not need to spend a lot of money.
Diseases caused by these dishes are usually diagnosed late and even if diagnosed, they are not easily curable, because chemicals have different effects on the body. However, the side effects of disposable containers do not end with human health alone, because experts believe that the return of these containers to the environment takes between 100 to 300 years.
And most importantly, that these materials are recyclable. The petrochemical industry has an annual quota for polymer materials, which unfortunately many producers either do not receive or receive less of, and have to use unhygienic recycled materials to produce containers.
Due to the fact that the recycling cycle in our country is not a healthy cycle, for this reason, these recycled materials cause a variety of other diseases, while many people when using these recycled materials are completely free of their side effects. خبرند.
In a survey of people in Tehran, people’s views of different sections of society were randomly examined and the attitude of the statistical community towards how to use the reason for their use and their views on the reason for using or not using them were determined.
Tips for using disposable tableware
In fact, disposable containers with clear, light and colored glass should be used for cold foods and under no circumstances should they be used to distribute hot food, and disposable containers with clear, transparent and colored glass only for liquids and materials. Use cool foods such as syrup, cold milk, water and vegetables. These containers are prohibited for use in food and beverages above 65 ° C and fatty foods because they release monomers (chemicals) and these chemical monomers endanger human health and are carcinogenic. The best disposable tableware for use is plant disposable tableware, which is completely standard in terms of health and environment and has reached mass production in our country.
Colored plastic containers should not be used for nutritional purposes in spite of disposable plant containers, as some of these colored plastic containers may be recycled materials, so it is important to try to use colorless and hygienic plastic containers.
Recycled containers can transmit dangerous diseases because they are collected from waste that is also contaminated with infections. The presence of urine bags and syringes in some wastes and their recycling doubles the risk and warning of their use. The use of contaminated plastic containers transmits many infectious and viral diseases such as hepatitis, intestinal fever and influenza.
Repeated and improper use of disposable containers will lead to serious risks. Some of these dishes can cause cancer in people at high temperatures. Also, by pouring hot and fatty food in them, a good environment for the growth of various microbes will be created. However, most people are unaware of the dangers and uses of each of these containers, and it is necessary to provide information about the permitted uses and prohibitions as a label on the product. It should also be made clear to people that disposable containers are made for single use, because if repeated, they will create very small grooves that are not visible, which in addition to predisposing the person to gastrointestinal infections due to the release of organic molecules. And industry into water or food exposes humans to a variety of cancers
ىدهند. Because many people use disposable water bottles to produce cold water by freezing water, it seems a necessary warning that freezing water in disposable bottles will release carcinogens from the bottle wall. Due to this issue, in a study conducted by the Center for Media Research and Studies in Tehran, the extent to which people use these containers and their awareness of the health and environmental harms of using these containers was investigated.
Reasons for the use of disposable tableware in the eyes of respondents?
According to the statistics in Table 1, 58% of respondents consider comfort as the reason for using disposable dishes, 21% do not need to wash, 7% cheapness, 7% speed, 3% hygiene, 3% workplace compulsion and 1% Availability has been cited as the reason for the widespread use of disposable tableware
Table and diagram No. 1- Distribution of respondents based on their opinions about the reason for the use of disposable containers
The reason for the use of disposable containers
No need to wash
Coercion in the workplace
Disadvantages of using disposable containers from the respondents’ point of view?
According to the statistics in Table 2, 40% of the respondents consider the most important defect of disposable containers to be carcinogenic, 26% said that the use of these containers is dangerous, and 2% consider the use of these containers to be harmless.
Table and diagram No. 2 – Distribution of respondents based on their opinions about the disadvantages of using disposable containers
Disadvantages of using disposable containers
it is dangerous
I do not know
Perfect in standard form
The most important problem of disposable tableware for the environment?
According to the statistics in Table 3, 46% of respondents consider the most important problem of disposable containers for the environment, their non-decomposition, 31% of waste generation and 4% do not see any problem in this regard, 18% of respondents, respond to They did not ask this question.
Table and Chart No. 3 – Distribution of respondents based on their views on the title of the most important problem of disposable containers for the environment
The most important problem of disposable tableware for the environment
I do not know
One can hope that the statistical community will be informed about the harmfulness of disposable chemical containers, but there is still room for doubt that people will not use these containers (www.tabnak.ir)
Increase the use of disposable tableware
One of the reasons for the increase in the production of these dishes in the country is their cheapness, so that unlike other countries, the government subsidizes the production of raw materials for these dishes. On the other hand, the convenience and ease of use and non-payment of waste by people is also one of the reasons for the increase in the use of these containers. Unfortunately, the good traditions of the past have been forgotten in the new urban life, while disposable tableware must be used in special circumstances, in our country, these tableware are used in general and special circumstances; So that we can easily see these dishes in restaurants, offices and reception areas.
The need to replace plant polymers with chemical polymers
The use of disposable tableware has become so common these days that it is difficult to imagine a world without disposable tableware. As people’s lifestyles change day by day, new technologies are replacing most traditional everyday tasks. At home, at work, conferences and scientific and administrative meetings, weddings and mourning and iftar and distribution of vows and everywhere
Disposable containers are used to receive guests and distribute them in various places for eating and drinking tea and coffee, water and soft drinks. These dishes are apparently completely hygienic and affordable because they do not break and do not require time, cost and energy to wash, water and dishwashing liquid in addition to juice shops, ice cream shops, pizza shops, self-service offices and universities Disposable tableware has also opened the door to home parties. It is predicted that in the next few years, excessive consumption of plastic and disposable plastic consumption by humans will lead to the formation of a plastic crust around the globe.
Officials and experts have repeatedly warned against the proper use of disposable tableware; However, the use of this type of utensils is increasing day by day and naturally with the increase of production and consumption, the probability of error increases, both by producers and consumers.
Statistics show that currently 10 million tons of plastic are used annually in the packaging industry. In 1985, 570 thousand tons were produced and consumed in a single container in our country
While the use of plastics in food packaging is on the rise, and people are increasingly turning to disposable tableware, experts say disposable tableware made from petroleum products is bad for the body. Is. Health institutions around the world, meanwhile, see the use of disposable containers as useful instead of reusable containers in schools, hospitals, restaurants and offices. This growing trend has caused in our country due to the cheap nature of technology to convert plastic and recycled materials into disposable containers, centers in different places, warehouses, underpasses
A and 2 without the supervision of the responsible organizations to be formed and turn plastic waste into disposable containers.
Meanwhile, the problem of scattering plastic waste in different parts of the country is also one of the environmental problems that, according to experts, these containers remain in the soil for several years and are indestructible. Leaving aside the environmental problem of disposable plastic containers, according to Dr. Mahnaz Qomi, a faculty member with a Ph.D. in Chemistry, mixing food with plastic can damage the safety, health and even the taste of food.
Dr. Qomi emphasizes: When hot food is poured into clear, colored, and even foam plastic containers, many toxic plastic species seep into the food and toxins enter the food. Contrary to popular belief, disposable spongy (foam) containers absorb more acidic substances, and after pouring hot, acidic and fatty foods, they gradually lose weight over time, and in fact, toxic substances enter the food and It is then stored in the body’s adipose tissue and will gradually become a carcinogen. Toxins accumulated in the adipose tissue of the body will gradually cause fatigue, nervousness, insomnia, depletion of platelets and globin, abnormal chromosomes and the spread of various cancers.
Recently, another phenomenon that has occurred in the production of disposable containers is the coloring of these containers, which in addition to transporting plastic ingredients, also introduces other chemical additives into the food and has more adverse effects on people’s health.
From what year was the production of plant polymers considered?
In the 1980s, studies on plant polymers began in Europe and the United States. There was an oil crisis at the time, and most countries were looking for independent oil resources. In 2001, the United States became the first mass producer of biopolymers (natural polymers), but at the time, natural polymers were limited to the production and packaging of disposable containers. In 2005, the consumption of these containers was 570,000 tons, which is a high capacity in terms of consumption.
Research on this type of plastic dates back to the 1970s and the beginning of the oil crisis, but finally the Americans succeeded in mass production of plant polymers in 2002, and since February 1986, Iranian researchers have succeeded in producing this abandoned polymer and Iran is named as the fifth The country was registered in the world that owns this technology. Corn, potato and wheat starch are commonly used in countries with plant polymer production technology. Starch is naturally a weak plant polymer that has hydrophilic (hydrophilic) properties.
So the first step in producing a strong polymer is to eliminate this property: the addition of plant fatty acids such as stearic acid and oleic acid causes changes in the initial composition and by forming an ester group with a long carbon chain, hydrophobicity is created. Be. The reactions are carried out at a certain temperature and pressure, and in later stages, the addition of compounds such as honey wax,
Vegetable oils, gluten (to maintain adhesion) and cellulose, improve the physical and mechanical properties of the polymer and the resulting compound is granulated in the extrusion machine. The conversion of granules into sheets, injectables, and thin films enables researchers to produce a variety of plastic bags, plastic containers, disposable containers, and so on.
There are no restrictions on the use of these plastics, and all types of containers made of ordinary plastics can be produced with vegetable polymers, while vegetable polymers have more flexibility and can be used in the microwave. Unlike polystyrene, which can not be used at temperatures above 65 degrees, they can easily withstand temperatures of 90 to 100 degrees Celsius. Decomposition of these polymers in the soil takes a maximum of 3 to 6 months, depending on the temperature, moisture and pressure of the soil, which affect the microorganisms in the soil. In addition to preserving the environment, maintaining human health is of particular importance when using these containers, and since these released polymers are of plant and natural origin, no toxic or harmful substances are released from them. Non-dependence on oil resources and low energy consumption for making disposable vegetable containers are other advantages. Plant polymers need a temperature of about 130 degrees to produce, while in ordinary polymers this temperature is above 190 degrees and this temperature difference of 60 degrees makes it economical. There is a lot of energy savings and ultimately a lot of financial savings throughout the year.
What is the difference between the technology of the country in the production of these dishes and the technology of other countries?
The United States produces dishes from cornstarch. Italy and the United Kingdom use potato starch, but we have used it due to the abundance of corn starch in the country, but the technology is such that any type of starch can be produced.
What are the properties of starch that can be used to produce vegetable dishes
Starch is a weak plant polymer material in terms of physical properties. We upgraded these properties. We turned starch, which is a hydrophilic substance, into a hydrophobic substance. In fact, we can say that the art of this work is to make starch hydrophobic. Then we upgraded it by adding substances such as honey wax, vegetable oil and cellulose fiber. For example, honey wax makes it shiny and soft and cellulose fiber strengthens it. The temperature tolerable by these dishes is from 20 degrees to 100 degrees. Of course, the difference between disposable vegetable dishes and plastic ones is that a microwave can be used.
A polymer with various applications
Most European countries also use disposable tableware
Vegetable consumption has been replaced by packaging containers derived from petroleum products. In our country, about 15% of the production of disposable tableware is covered by vegetable release polymer, and it is hoped that by the end of 1987, this figure will reach 50%.
But disposable tableware is not the only application of vegetable polymers. Today, there is no limit to the type of product and all kinds of parts are made with vegetable polymers; So much so that in Europe they created so much diversity in this field that even the piece that they put on the ground to plant a golf ball no longer comes out but rots on the ground itself.
Another example is hospital plastic bags whose burial is contaminating; Because in hospitals, the most important source of contamination is plastic bags that are used to transfer the clothes of patients and doctors to the hospital laundry. At present, these nylons are produced using vegetable polymers and the bags are placed in the laundry along with the clothes. These bags dissolve in water after 10 to 20 minutes. At present, in Iran, the price of disposable vegetable containers is almost equal to the price of plastic disposable containers, but if the society takes steps to use these containers, there is no doubt about the price. It is greatly reduced.
Of course, these products are more expensive than plastic containers in European countries due to their advantages and high demand for them. With the production of plant polymers in Iran, disposable plant consumption has joined the green revolution, and therefore there is a strong need to exploit and support this new industry (www.irandoe.org).
Herbal dishes and side effects
Disposable herbal dishes not only have no side effects, but also decompose after a maximum of 6 months. With the acquisition of the technology of making these dishes, Iran is the fifth country in the world after the United States, Britain, Germany and Italy and the first Asian country to achieve this success and enter the arena of the global green revolution. Numerous scientific reports have shown that dishes Disposable plastic consumption in Iran causes all kinds of cancers and even the transmission of hazardous substances through genes from one generation to another, while the mentioned containers can not be decomposed for about 300 years and remain in nature. The Ministry of Health has banned the storage, transport and packaging of food in polystyrene plastic containers because the use of these containers to store food and beverages above 65 degrees Celsius, releases dangerous carcinogens.
Unfortunately, Iran is one of the few countries in the world in the excessive use of disposable polystyrene plastic containers, which we hope will soon replace vegetable containers. The technology of using plant biomers (plant biopolymers) for the production of disposable containers has been localized by Iranian researchers and has been registered as “synthesis and mass production of plant polymers prepared from corn starch.” After 3 years of study and research, we achieved this technology and in addition to the formulation of the necessary compounds and materials, we have also designed the machines and equipment used in this section. In 1985, over 570,000 tons of disposable plastic containers (made of polystyrene) were used. Due to the environmental problems of plastic containers produced from petroleum compounds, including its persistence in the soil for 300 years, as well as the risks it poses to human health, such as carcinogenesis and even genetic changes that can be passed on to future generations. Slowly, Iranian researchers have decided to act in the same way as developed countries, which have moved towards the use of biodegradable materials that are safe for humans. Work on plant polymers in the world began in the 1970s, during the oil crisis, when developed countries began to think of using packaging materials that were not dependent on oil and its derivatives, so plant polymers were made with compounds such as potatoes. , Corn and wheat were tested. These hydrocarbon polymers have weak polymer properties that can be changed and modified to achieve the properties of petroleum polymers. Currently, all popular restaurant chains in the United States use herbal packaging. Most European countries have also replaced disposable vegetable containers with packaging containers derived from petroleum products. The shape and appearance of these containers is quite similar to plastic containers, except that they are biodegradable.
In the case of disposable plastic containers (polystyrene), it can be said that polystyrene takes more than 300 years to decompose and return to nature. On the other hand, all researchers have concluded that the use of these containers for hot and hot foods is not healthy at all because polystyrene containers always have some free styrene in their polymer composition, which is extremely toxic and carcinogenic. When a styrene container comes in contact with hot, especially fatty foods, its free styrene enters the food. Of course, it should be noted that boiling water also causes free styrene to separate from the container and enter the water, but the contact of these containers with fatty and hot food causes all free styrene in the container to enter the food and people who They constantly eat the food in these dishes, suffering from dangerous diseases such as cancer. The French Cancer Institute has reduced the carcinogenicity of polystyrene containers from grade 3 to grade 2, ie they have declared them dangerous substances. According to this researcher, disposable foam and non-foam containers in the country have free styrene, so the use of these containers has many risks to human health.