By incineration of waste products and plastics particularly, instead of landfill or other disposal method.. it creaes toxic pollutants like dioxin, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide..which add to less cleaner air and global warming in longer term.. it also causes health risk to humans living in closer proximity.. So burning palstics is not a recommaned disposal method in general..
Burning plastic is very detrimental to human health and the environment. It releases heavy metals such as cadmium and lead as well as toxic chemicals. Some plastics release hydrochloric acid when burned, which contributes to acid rain. These substances eventually find their way into soil and groundwater or even the crops we eat. Additionally, the dioxins and furans released are known to have a negative effect on bird and fish populations, and at least one form of dioxin has been linked to cancer in humans.
Plastic releases toxic fumes when burned, such as carbon monoxide. In addition, ash created by plastic containers can infect and toxify the soil. Incineration of plastics at landfills is a big problem and grave environmental concern to many.
While open burning of plastics in an uncontrolled environment is not recommended, many of the commenters here have been unfairly harsh on the use of residual non-recyclable plastic as as a valuable energy source with the potential to offset a significant quantity of virgin fossil fuel consumption. Landfill fires also pose a threat to the environment as noxious gases may be produced and released into the surrounding community. Incineration in a controlled environment, as in a modern energy-from-waste facility, will induce complete combustion of the waste, while filtration and chemical treatment of flue gases remove a major share of any remaining pollutants from burning of any municipal waste, including plastics, and scientific organizations have concluded that modern incineration facilities pose no measuarable threat to human health (cite #1). There are also technologies available today for converting source-separated mixed plastics as well as some mixed waste streams into synthetic diesel and other fuels (cite #2).
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