Use Of Plastic Material In Road Construction

Plastic Road

Plastic material is a synthetic or semi-synthetic organic solids that are mouldable. Plastics are typically organic polymers of high molecular mass. The use of plastic and related materials is increasing tremendously due to growth in population, urbanization and modern life style. Municipal solid waste in India contain 1-4 per cent by weight of plastic waste. India’s rate of recycling of plastic waste is the highest (60%) in the world as compared to other countries (China 10%, Europe 7%, Japan 12%, South Africa 16%, USA 10%). As a source of hazard to environment, plastic account for 16% of chlorine in the environment and have 54 carcinogens, polythene bags for disposal if burnt irresponsibly releases highly toxic gases like phosgene, carbon monoxide, chlorine, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, besides deadly dioxin.
India generates 56 lakhtonnes of plastic waste annually, with Delhi accounting for a staggering 689.5 tonnes a day. "Total plastic waste which is collected and recycled in the country is estimated to be 9,205 tonnes per day (approximately 60% of total plastic waste) and 6,137 tonnes remain uncollected and littered.
Wastes plastics are not disposed scientifically due to their non-biodegradability hence the disposal of waste plastic is now become a very big global problem. Recently these waste plastic material is used as additives in road construction. Generally bitumen is used as binder in road construction and binding capacity of this bitumen is low but when plastic waste is mixed with hot bitumen and the resulted mix is used for road construction increase binding capacity of bitumen. The use of this innovative technology will not only strengthen the road construction but also increase the road life as well as will help to improve the environment. Plastic roads would be a boon for India's hot and extremely humid climate, where temperatures frequently cross 50°C and torrential rains create havoc, leaving most of the roads with big potholes.
Dr. R. Vasudevan, Dean and Head of the Chemistry Department of the Thiagarajar College of Engineering (TCE) The man behind this mission is known as Madurai's 'Plastic Road Man'.The first ever plastic road (60 feet long) was laid inside the TCE campus in 2002, followed by a 700 m road in Lenin Nagar, Kovilpatti, the same year. Officially, the industrial town of Salem was the first in the country to lay a 350 m road on an experimental basis using plastic tar technology in 2004.
Source: the hindu, Indiatoday

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