Himachal takes green road to plastic disposal

August 2nd, 2011 - 7:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, Aug 2 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh plans to surface 150 km of state roads this fiscal by adding shredded plastic waste to tar, a minister said Tuesday.

“Molten plastic with liquid tar has proven to be more resistant to water permeation, heat and high pressure than the normal material,” Public Works Department (PWD) Minister Gulab Singh told reporters here.

“All PWD divisions are using plastic for roads. This year the PWD will build 150 km of roads surfaced with plastic waste. Last year 42 km of roads were built using this material,” he said.

The minister said the road construction cost per km by using bitumen was around Rs.12 lakh. But by mixing plastic in the bitumen, the cost came down to Rs.11 lakh per km.

“The government has so far collected 104 tonnes of plastic this year. Of this, 40 tonnes have been used in construction of roads,” Gulab Singh said.

The government has been using waste plastic, including carry bags, disposable cups, laminated plastics like pouches of potato chips, pan masala, aluminium foil and packaging material used for grocery items, in road surfacing since 2010.

Himachal Pradesh Oct 2, 2009, imposed a ban on the production, storage, use, sale and distribution of all types of polythene bags made of non-biodegradable materials.

After imposing the ban, the government launched a campaign “Polythene Hatao, Paryavaran Bachao” (remove polythene, save environment) across the state in three phases.

To maintain regular supply of plastic waste for the PWD’s road surfacing projects, the government has developed a buyback mechanism. It has asked village panchayats and urban local bodies to segregate plastic from other waste in their areas. The PWD buys plastic waste at a rate of Rs.4 per kg.

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