Muhammad Ilyas, Waqas Ahmad, Hizbullah Khan, Saeeda Yousaf, Kifayatullah Khan, Shah Nazir
September 6, 2018
Context Materials which exceed the balance of their production and destruction lead to the deterioration in the environment. Plastic is one such material which poses a big threat to the environment. A huge amount of plastic is produced and dumped into the environment which does not readily degrade naturally. In this paper, we address the organization of a large body of literature published on the management of waste plastics being the most challenging issue of the modern world. Objectives To address the issue of the management of waste plastics, there is a dire need to organize the literature published in this field. This paper presents a systematic literature review on plastic waste, its fate and biodegradation in the environment. The objective is to make conclusions on possible practical techniques to lessen the effects of plastic waste on the environment. Method A systematic literature review protocol was followed for conducting the present study [Kitchenham B, Brereton OP, Budgen D, Turner M, Bailey J, Linkman S. Systematic literature reviews in software engineering – A systematic literature review. Inf Softw Technol 2009;51(1):7–15.]. A predefined set of book sections, conference proceedings and high-quality journal publications during the years 1999 to September 2017 were used for data collection. Results One hundred and fifty-three primary studies are selected, based on predefined exclusion, inclusion and quality criteria. These studies will help to identify the fate of different waste plastics, their impact and management and the disposal techniques frequently used. The study also identifies a number of significant techniques and measures for the conversion of waste plastic materials into useful products. Conclusion Five fundamental strategies are used for the handling of plastic waste. These strategies include: recycling, depositing in landfill, incineration, microbial degradation and conversion into useful materials. All of these methods have their own limitations, due to which there is need to explore the studies for optimum solutions of the management of plastics waste.