1 lakh km of road built using plastic waste, govt aims to double it
The central government has been using plastic waste in road construction to properly utilise the material which otherwise is not recycled. So far, one lakh kilometre of road has been constructed using plastic waste, Hindustan Times’ sister publication Hindustan reported.
The construction of every kilometre of road required nine tonnes of bitumen and one tonne of plastic waste. This means for every kilometre of road, one tonne bitumen is saved, which costs about Rs 30,000.
Plastic roads consist of 6-8 per cent plastic, while 92-94 per cent is bitumen.
Union minister Nitin Gadkari had announced the usage of plastic waste in road construction in 2016. Since then, plastic waste has been used in constructing one lakh kilometre of road in 11 states. In this financial year, the figure will double, according to Hindustan.
The Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) used plastic waste in its roads for the first time in 2018. The MCG has now made the use of plastic waste mandatory in the construction of arterial roads.
Assam started using the waste material from this year.
Plastic has been used in the 270-kilometre-long Jammu Kashmir National highway. About 1.6 tonne of plastic waste was used in the two-kilometre-long stretch of Delhi-Meerut highway news UP Gate, according to Hindustan. It has also been used in constructing the road connecting Dhaula Kuan to the airport in Delhi, the report in Hindustan said.
India generates at least 25,940 tonnes of plastic waste daily, equivalent to the weight of around 4,300 elephants. Of this, about 60 per cent gets recycled, according to the Union environment ministry. The rest gets dumped in landfills, clogs drains, goes into the ocean as micro-plastics, or is burnt, leading to air pollution.
In the absence of a proper waste management system, the plastics that get recycled are often dirty, which makes the re-cycling process water-intensive and expensive.