Government Demands Plastic Waste in Road Construction

In order to make use of increasing plastic waste in India’s urban centers and bring down construction cost as well, the government has made it mandatory for road developers to use waste plastic, including used printer cartridges, along with bituminous mixes in road construction.

According to The Economic Times, India’s road developers are now required to use waste plastic with hot mixes to construct bitumen roads within 50 km of periphery of any city with a population of over 500 thousand. The government said in the guidelines that developers have to seek the road transport & highways ministry’s approval for constructing only bitumen roads if waste plastic is not available.

One official said, “The same technology can also be used for construction of rural roads as it will enhance their quality as well as longevity. These roads can have a plastic coating mixed with bitumen.”

Also, the government hopes this measure will help reduce the construction cost from about Rs 1 million for one km of road length at present. “The cost factor is yet to be analyzed, but it will be slightly less than 100% bitumen,” the official said.

The ministry will encourage state governments and rural development ministry to act alike. Thus, urban local bodies in lack of financial resources can make money by selling the plastic waste generated by cities to road developers.

A study by the Central Pollution Control Board says that every year India generates 5.6 million tons of plastic waste. 10% of the 7,000 tons of waste generated by Delhi every day is pure plastic that cannot be disposed even by waste-to-energy plants because of environmental reasons.



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