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Bioprocessing of Metals from Packaging Wastes

  • Meenu Gautam
  • Divya Pandey
  • Madhoolika AgrawalEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Environmental Footprints and Eco-design of Products and Processes book series (EFEPP)

Abstract

Packaging refers to the covering used to protect the product inside. Metals—such as iron, copper, and their alloys, i.e., brass and bronze, have been used for the packaging and storage of goods since ancient times. Unique properties of metals, particularly the ease of fabrication, strength, thermal and electrical conductivities, and ability to hold diverse materials securely in different states, make them an essential packaging material either as such or as composites with materials such as polymers, fibers, plastics, and ceramics. Boxes, cans, cylinders, and foils made from iron, aluminum, tin, copper, etc., are the most common and everyday examples of metal-based packaging; however, specialized packaging requirements, e.g., for electronic parts, composites based on different metals are preferred. After its end use, discarded packaging becomes a major contributor to waste generation. Completely metal-based packages can be recycled; however, this becomes expensive for composites. In such cases, landfilling is the most common disposal method, which may cause adverse impacts on human health through the contamination of groundwater and soil. This calls for effective and better alternate metal waste-management options that can help metal recycling and recovery. In this chapter, we present a brief introduction of metal-based packaging, their various methods of disposal, and recovery and recycling options with particular focus on biotechnological approaches. With the help of different examples and recent developments in the recovery and reuse of waste metals, potential sustainable and cost-effective solutions in managing metallic or metal-based packaging waste are discussed.

Keywords

Metals Composites Recycling Packaging waste 

Notes

Acknowledgement

Divya Pandey and Meenu Gautam are thankful to the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India, for research fellowships in the form of Research Associateship and Junior Research Fellowship, respectively.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Meenu Gautam
    • 1
  • Divya Pandey
    • 1
  • Madhoolika Agrawal
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratory of Air Pollution and Global Climate Change, Department of BotanyBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia

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