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KSPCB asks authorities to mandatorily use waste plastic in road construction

As per the Indian Road Congress guidelines, processed plastic waste is shredded to a particular size and is then blended with hot bitumen. This mix is used in road construction.

Written by Aksheev Thakur | Bengaluru |
December 2, 2021 5:36:56 pm
Officials said the expenditure section of the department has given financial approval for the project. The construction will start by the end of this month. The project is estimated to cost Rs 94.65 lakh. (Representational image)

The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has directed Karnataka State Highways Improvement Project (KSHIP), Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Limited (KRIDIL) and Karnataka Public Works Department (KPWD) to mandatorily use waste plastics in road construction as per the Indian Road Congress (IRC) guidelines.

“We are one of the first few states in the country to be taking this step towards effective plastic waste management. KSPCB is making efforts for scientific disposal of waste plastics in terms of disposing the same in cement plants for effective recycling processes and one such scientific disposal is also using them in road building. Many developed countries are recycling the waste plastics to manufacture various products, including some used in heavy construction like railway sleepers, road buildings and pavement blocks,” KSPCB member secretary Srinivasulu K told The Indian Express.

The IRC says that the processed plastic waste is shredded to a particular size and is then blended with hot bitumen. This mix is used in road construction. The road laying temperature should be between 120-160 degrees Celsius. Experts point out that one of the advantages of using waste plastic as a modifier in the binder is the higher resistance to deformation and water-induced damages.

The direction copy of the KSPCB reads, “Studies have revealed that waste plastics have great potential for use in bituminous construction as its addition in small doses, about 5-10 per cent, by weight of bitumen helps in substantially improving the Marshall stability, strength, fatigue life and other desirable properties of bituminous mix, leading to improved longevity and pavement performance. The use of waste plastic thus contributes to construction of green roads.”

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change had in 2016 notified that local bodies shall encourage the use of plastic waste (preferably the plastic waste which cannot be further recycled) for road construction as per IRC.

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