Plastic waste is a huge threat to the environment. In 2005, after monsoon rains flooded Mumbai, plastic bags were blamed for clogging the underground drainage system and intensifying the effect of the floods. In areas frequented by tourists, like Goa, heavy consumption of bottled water has resulted in trash on beaches, creating eyesores and endangering marine life.
Even India’s cows, considered sacred, have not been spared. After 3,000 cows died in Lucknow in 2000, the city investigated and found plastic bags in their stomachs. Apparently the bags had been ingested as the animals grazed at dump sites.
With more than 35 tons of plastic waste generated by every Indian state, each day India is confronted with the big question of how to get rid of this non-biodegradable menace.
Mr. Khan’s company, K.K. Plastic Waste Management has the perfect answer to the question. K.K. Plastic Waste Management turns thousands of tons of waste plastic from India’s technology and IT hub, Bangalore, into roads. They last longer than conventional roads and rid the city of its excess plastic. Plastic waste is collected from garbage bins across the city through a network of municipal workers, rag pickers and their own employees. Then the plastic is shredded into tiny pieces and mixed with asphalt.
The company’s managing director says the idea came to him 10 years ago when various organizations started anti-plastic campaigns, putting their plastic churning factories in danger of being shut down. Khan said they have helped build more than 8,000 miles of roads, and it’s even possible to completely use all the waste plastic in India to build more roads.
A roads expert says the process of mixing plastic waste in road construction serves the dual purpose of getting rid of the plastic and enhancing the performance of the road.
Presently several state governments have also started using this technology. Dimapur in Nagaland has roads made of bitumen polymer (plastic waste). The Himachal Pradesh government has set a target of constructing 150-km long stretch of plastic roads during the current financial year. Last year 42 km of roads were built in the state using this material.
The state government has so far collected 104 tonnes of plastic all over the state. They have already used 40 tonnes of this waste to construct roads. Himachal Pradesh is one of the first states in the country to ban the use of plastic. From 15 August, it has banned the use of disposable plastic plates and cups as well.
Some other states are also in talks with the Himachal government to help them build similar roads.
Using a non-biodegradable waste, which otherwise pollutes the environment, to build much required infrastructure is a commendable step being taken by the states. We hope the technology is seen very soon in other parts of the country as well.
Watch a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZDrk29TnZA