Indian Road Congress: Using plastic in road building will help manage waste effectively, say experts

Experts attending the 81st annual session of the Indian Road Congress (IRC) in the state capital on Sunday said using plastic in road construction can add to the longevity of thoroughfares and be an effective way to manage waste.

“What used to be a wonder material is now called a notorious material and one good solution is to use it for road construction,” said Mahesh Kasture, chief manager corporate, Bharat Petroleum Corporation, while addressing a technical session at IRC. He was delivering a talk on “Utilisation of plastic waste in road and allied construction”.

“Using plastic waste for road construction is an effective solution for end of life plastic utilisation in an environmentally friendly manner, thereby saving such plastic from entering the food chain,” he said. “The success of the process has been proven by laying several stretches across India and these are operational today also. Its success will lead to achieve the goal of Swachh Bharat Mission and generate carbon credits for green utilisation of waste plastic,” he said, while showing videos and pictures of a pilot trial in Noida where roads with plastic were made years before and are still smooth.

“Total utilisation was about 250 metric ton of plastic waste in about 5 to 6 km of road,” he said, sharing statistics from projects done across the country, including Kochi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Maharashtra and Noida.

“Once it is under the road, plastic will never come again to cause trouble,” he said.

“Plastic in trace material has been found in studies in foods. Once plastic enters the human body, it (plastic) will only damage body organs and stay unharmed itself,” said Dr Abhishek Shukla, secretary general, Association of International Doctors.

He said that recommendations from IRC can help in exploring this process on a larger scale in different areas.

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