The Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) has developed a creative new way to put plastic waste to use, and in so doing will not only reduce the amount of plastic waste in landfills, but will also provide a new means to improve infrastructure around the city. The Indian Center for Plastics in the Environment (ICPE) came up with a way to use recycled plastics in the construction of asphalt roads, a tech innovation will definite potential for mass use, especially since plastic waste doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
The Statesman reports,
The Kolkata municipality will not be the first in West Bengal to experiment with roads made of plastic. The ICPE constructed a kilometre stretch of road using plastic and bitumen/aggregate mixture in Kalyani in 2009, and in Ashok Nagar and Chandernagore in 2010.
West Bengal isn’t the first to try this, by any means:
Tamil Nadu was the first state to decide to use recycled plastics in the construction of all asphalt roads, and has so far built 350 kilometres using the ICPE technology. The governments of Gujarat, Delhi and Mumbai have also expressed interest in or approved the construction of roads with plastics waste.
Most people remain unaware of the many ways in which plastics can be used and the how they can be recycled. A large reason for this is the lack of opportunities to learn about plastics, which is why the Indian Plastics Federation (IPF) plans to open a plastics knowledge center. It will focus on students in the last two years of school and give them both scientific and systemic learning about plastic recycling. In doing so, it hopes to develop a workforce that will be knowledgeable about not only the use of plastic in road construction, but also effective waste management and recycling.