- Plastic waste to be used for road construction in Uttar Pradesh
- The Kothi Haidergarh Road will be the first road to be built using plastic
- Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath announced a ban on plastic from July 15
New Delhi: 25 out of 29 Indian states have some form of ban on plastic bags, yet 600 truckloads of plastic waste is generated in India daily. This stark reality highlights poor implementation of plastic bans. The other issue that some like Karnataka have been facing is putting the plastic to some productive use. In 2015, the Indian government made it mandatory for all road developers in the country to use plastic waste for road construction. In the last few years, many states like Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh have started using discarded/seized plastic for road construction and Uttar Pradesh will soon follow suit. Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya at a gathering on July 4 said that the state’s Public Works Department (PWD) will begin construction of roads using plastic waste, jute and fly ash. UP’s decision to use plastic waste comes in the wake of the state generating over 1.3 lakh tonnes of plastic waste annually, as per the Central Pollution Control Board.
“Plastic waste is a huge problem for the state as recycling nearly 360 tonnes of plastic daily is a big ask for recycling units. Roads constructed out of plastic are more durable, and can withstand long spells of monsoon than roads constructed out of other materials. We are in touch with local municipalities, who will hand over plastic waste to us. We will then use the plastic waste for road construction,” said Anil Kumar Sharma, Chief Engineer, Design and Planning, Uttar Pradesh Public Works Department.
The PWD will collaborate with the Central Road Research Institute, in finding out more about how plastic waste can be used to build roads in the state. The first road to be built in the state using plastic waste would be the Kothi Haidergarh Road in Barabanki, said the Deputy Chief Minister. On successful completion of the road construction, more roads will be brought under the ambit of being built using plastic waste.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced that from July 15, plastic bags, cups and glasses will be banned in the state. Municipal bodies are expected to seize more plastic once the ban kicks in, and the state PWD will get its hands on more raw material to be used for road construction.
Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board Member Secretary Ashish Tiwari said that it was a good initiative that the state was using plastic waste in road construction, as recycling such a large amount of plastic would have been cost intensive.
“If plastic waste is used for construction of roads, it means that the PWD is replacing much of the raw material to be used for construction with plastic, which will not cost them anything. Investing in new recycling units is both time consuming and costly. This is a more sustainable approach to deal with the problem of plastic waste in the state,” said Mr Tiwari.
The concept of using plastic waste for road construction has been advocated by personalities like Rajagopalan Vasudevan, an IIT Kanpur alumnus and Padma Shri recipient. More than a lakh kilometre of roads have been constructed using plastic waste, though a lot of ground remains to be covered.