India constructed 703 km of highways using plastic waste

So far 703 km of National Highways have been constructed with the use of waste plastic in “wearing a coat of flexible pavement”, the Parliament was told on Thursday.

Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari told the Lok Sabha, in a written reply, that the ministry has issued guidelines for mandatory use of waste plastic in periodic renewal with hot mixes and in wearing a coat of service road on national highways within 50km periphery of an urban area having a population of more than 5 lakhs.

The use of plastic waste in the construction of roads protects the environment from the adverse impacts of waste plastic.

Plastic roads consist of 6-8 per cent plastic, while 92-94 per cent is a bitumen.

In 2016, Gadkari had announced the usage of plastic waste in road construction in 2016. Since then, plastic waste has been used in constructing roads in 11 states.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) report, as much as 3.3 million metric tonnes of plastic waste was generated in India, which is approximately 9,200 tonnes a day (TPD), in 2018-19.

The report stated that the total municipal solid waste generation is 55-65 million tonnes and out of it, plastic waste is approximately 5-6 per cent.

To regulate the use of plastic, the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change came up with the draft Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2021, which proposes a ban on the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale, and use of specific single-use plastic from January 1, 2022.

Specific single-use of plastic include plastic sticks for balloons, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, plastic flags, and thermocol.

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