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Plastic waste used in laying roads in Bengal

By: Satnam Singh

October 25, 2012

CALCUTTA, INDIA (Oct. 25, 10 a.m. ET) — The Indian Centre for Plastics in the Environment (ICPE) has been promoting the use of plastic waste to construct asphalt roads.

A few trial roads have been paved successfully by combining waste plastic with bitumen.

“It has been decided by the local municipalities where demo roads were constructed, after observing their performance in the monsoon, that all municipality roads would be built using the waste plastic in the future,” said Sourabh Khemani, co-chairman of Indplas’12, held Oct. 5-8 in Calcutta.

“Soon the use of waste plastic will be added in the States Public Works Department list, so that all new tenders for road-laying in [Calcutta] would add the use of waste plastic,” he added.

So far, trial roads made by using plastics have remained intact after the rainy season and are saving money. About 8-15 percent of the bitumen normally used is replaced with waste plastic from thin polyethylene and polypropylene carryout bags that are not regularly recycled and are considered low-end waste.

The Calcutta-based Indian Plastics Federation also has been involved in the project.