The Maharashtra government has decided that it will now use plastic waste, other than PVC and black plastic, for the construction of roads. This will not only help in reusing plastic waste, but will also enhance water resistance of the roads and control soil pollution. Additionally, it will help in reducing asphalt consumption, thereby bringing down the cost of building roads.
The waste will mainly consist of unusable plastic carry bags. 3-6 kg of plastic waste will be mixed in every 100 kg of tar used.
The government plans to test the formula this year, after which, it will use it in a more widespread manner.
“We will build 100 km roads this year using this formula. For next year, the target is of 1000 km,” a senior PWD official told TOI.
An added advantage of using plastic waste is the increased longevity. As per estimates, plastic usage can increase road-life by almost three years.
The government also plans to take the help of school students in the collection of plastic waste such as sacks, milk pouches, bin lining, cosmetic and detergent bottles, bottle caps, household articles, and drinking water bottles.
“Studies have revealed that waste plastics have great potential for use in bituminous construction as its addition in small doses, about 5-10%, by weight of bitumen helps in substantially improving the Marshall stability, strength, fatigue life and other desirable properties of bituminous mix, leading to improved longevity and pavement performance. The use of waste plastic thus contributes to construction of green roads,” said the central government guidelines.