Pune: As per a new research by the Science Park of Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU), it was found that Plaster of Paris (POP), which has been treated as non-eco-friendly, can be now recovered and reused.
Many citizens are fond of artefacts and models, which are made of POP, but are unaware how to recycle the waste generated from it, which adds to the pollution in the environment. In a bid to get a solution to several tonnes of POP, which ends up in the landfill, the Science Park collected 1 tonne of POP last year to experiment. Out of this, 800 kg of POP was recovered.
According to the research, POP can be recovered by reheating or grinding or straining the waste of POP (calcium sulphate), which will leave residue in powder form. This can then be used to make structures of artefacts and models for decorations, idols, etc. The quality of the recycled POP is retained and the results are just like the original. This process has been mentioned in theories but have not been applied so far, informed Jayant Gadgil, Director of the research and professor at SPPU.
“We are trying to popularise and make people aware of the research so that it just does not remain as a research work but is practically applied. For this, we will be approaching the Ganpati mandals, municipal corporations, interior designers and others who use POP. If all the wasted POP is diverted towards recycling, then it will prevent pollution in the environment in coming years. It will reduce pollution, especially water pollution that happens due to the immersion of Ganesh idols during Ganesh Chaturthi. The recovered POP retains the original quality,” said Gadgil.
Jayant Gadgil said that every year during Ganpati festival, lakhs of Ganesh idols made of POP are immersed in water raising the question of pollution and other harmful effects to the environment. “Moreover, how to manage or divert the waste generated from the calcium sulphate has been a bigger question in front of the municipal corporation and others,” he said.