In olden days, lives were simple, people were few and so was the need for chemical products. Consequently, the volume of production was low and hence there was no awareness about chemical wastes or their hazardous effects.
But as years passed by, the population grew exponentially and the requirements for chemicals increased. At the same time, the waste generated through these production activities shot through the roof.
Ways and means for reduction or recycle of waste were generated but no methods were devised to reduce it. Instead of going back to the basic principles of chemistry and reinventing natural processes, manufacturers and researchers went on devising various new treatments for waste and disposal methods. This, according to me, was one of the most disastrous decisions of modern science. It will take us years to recover from this.
But thankfully, the chemical industry has woken up to the need for waste reduction and management, and India is taking positive steps towards a more sustainable manufacturing process with the help of companies like Newreka. We need to develop new processes without compromising on quality and cost by revisiting the age-old processes. The new processes or technologies should be economically and environmentally much more competitive than the conventional processes or technologies that are being used now. The concept of Green Chemistry is one such process which help companies do justice to Mother Nature.
When the chemical products are designed keeping in mind the principles of green chemistry and E-factor, the enormous amounts of waste produced by the industry can be kept under control. The green chemistry-based solutions should be applied to synthesis and catalysis to recycle the entire reaction and extraction medium in the system. This is otherwise disposed off after primary/secondary treatment as effluent and is the biggest source of water pollution. Let’s move towards a greener and sustainable chemistry and change the way the traditional chemistry was following for the good.