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Indian Government Proclaims Building Roads Out of Plastic Waste

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by - 2/6/2018 1528 Views

With an endeavor to bring down plastic pollution, nearly one lakh km of roads in 11 states has been proposed to be constructed using plastic wastes.

Plastic Roads

Nagercoil, Feb 6, 2018 -  The impact of plastic in environmental pollution is widely discussed almost every day. Despite several attempts to reduce plastic usage, most of them didn’t seem to bring out fruitful results as intended. But that’s about to change with the Indian government’s commitment to build roads from plastic waste in the next five years. An investment of $11 billion USD (6.9 trillion INR) was announced for the project back in October.

This revolutionary technology of using plastic wastes to construct roads is pioneered by Prof. Rajagopalan Vasudevan, Professor of Chemistry, Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai. “We spend so much on building roads that develop potholes and need rebuilding in no time,” Vasudevan told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “The road I built is still intact - there are no potholes, no cracks. That is proof of its strength and durability, plus it uses waste plastic that otherwise litters streets and rivers.”

India witnesses the highest number of road accidents worldwide and also has the world’s second largest road network. Reports reveal 150,000 to 500,000 deaths from road accidents in last year alone, some of which is caused due to poor road conditions. The government clarified that 83,677 km of roads will be built using plastic wastes in the next five years for improved infrastructure and reduced pollution.

Isher Judge Ahluwalia, former head of a government committee on urban infrastructure stated, “Plastic roads will not only withstand future monsoon damage but will also solve the problem of disposing of non-recyclable plastic.” This technology is sure to make remarkable achievements, however it is probable that the project can impact plastic scraps trading. There shall be an apparent spike in demand for plastic scraps including plastic carry bags, packaging material, bottles, cups, and various other items, as they shall be utilized for building plastic roads. How the Indian scrap industry will perform in this setting remains to be seen.

The evolution of plastics has drastically changed the way we live, by becoming an integral part in one’s daily needs. From cups and bottles, to carry bags and packaging, this easy to use, durable and lightweight material has nearly replaced every other material there is to manufacture several items. This has massively contributed to pollution and ecological imbalance.

As banning plastics altogether is next to impossible, building plastic roads can combat several problems and deliver multiple advantages including 100% increase in road strength, reduced construction costs, more employment opportunities, prevention of UV radiation effect, better resistance during harsh weather conditions, almost zero maintenance cost, and even more.

While the government proposed the use of waste plastics to build highways in 2015, certain states lagged in implementing the technology, expressing concerns over not having enough contractors and plastics to make the program feasible. Nevertheless, the new commitment is all set to bring satisfactory outcomes, according to Vasudevan. He told Reuters, “We are going to be generating waste plastic, and we are going to be building roads for the foreseeable future. Why not use the method that does away with the plastic waste and makes the roads cheaper, durable and safer?”

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Category : Plastic

Tags : Plastic Roads, Plastic wastes, Non-recyclable plastic, Plastic scraps, Plastic carry bags, Packaging material, Plastic bottles, Plastic cups, Indian scrap industry


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