What a sorry site it is to see plastic bags, chips and biscuit packets and all sorts of plastic wrappers clogging our roadside drains, being eaten by strays and generally flying at us when we least expect it. We have long known that the amount of plastic being produced and used is at a way higher rate than out planet can handle, and there have been many measures to curb the menace – with varying degrees of success.
In Jamshedpur, the Tata Steel subsidy Jamshedpur Utility and Services Company (JUSCO) constructed 12-15 km long roads and widened others using recycled plastic.
Senior Manager (Qualilty Assurance) of JUSCO Gaurav Anand said:
“As far as we know, Jamshedpur is the only city in eastern India where bitumen technology (Dry Process) patented by Thiagarajar College of Engineering (TCE), Tirupparankuram, Madurai, has been implemented on accumulated waste plastic for the first time.”
These roads reportedly have no maintenance cost for the first 5 years and save bitumen worth Rs 50,000 for every 1 km long and 4 m wide road.
Seeing the success of these roads, states like Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand have shown interest in the technology. However, JUSCO has no plans to commercialize it and instead want to use it to “serve society”. Even Nigeria has shown interest in exporting the technology to their country.
These plastic roads are water-resistant, have a higher softening point, can withstand high temperatures and weight, are harder to penetrate, have better binding properties, cost less and have no toxic gas emissions.