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Issue 18
, 2009
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Project to use plastic waste for road surfacing launched

Source: The Tribune, New Delhi, Date: , 2009

Belatedly though, the state pollution control board has taken an initiative to ensure cost-effective use of plastic waste for road surfacing to help find a lasting and workable solution to the problem of non-biodegradable waste disposal. It will not only bring down the cost of tarring but also enhance the durability of roads because of higher binding strength of plastic. The board has started a pilot project on the airport road in the periphery of the city under which plastic waste is being mixed with asphalt to an extent of 15 per cent for tarring road. The board has acquired plastic waste shedder for the purpose and the project is being implemented in collaboration with the Public Works Department under the guidance of experts from the central pollution control board (CPCB). A 1-km stretch of 3.05 m wide rural road requires about 10-tonne bitumen for tarring and as such mixing 15 per cent plastic waste will result in a saving 1.5 tonne. Explaining the process, senior scientist from the CPCB SK Nigam said, “The aggregate is heated to a temperature of 160°C and shredded plastic waste, 1.5 to 4.5mm in size, is mixed to form a coating. Senior project consultant Madhu Soni said under the pilot scheme three stretches of 300-m each were being tarred with plastic mix without seal coat, plastic mix with seal coat and conventional asphalt for comparative performance in the hill environment. The long-term plan was to utilise plastic waste for road construction, fuel and other such uses to save the hills from non-biodegradable litter. The National Rural Road Development Agency has already laid down norms and guidelines for plastic-bitumen mix roads.