Udupi zilla panchayat makes plastic compulsory in road construction

Udupi zilla panchayat has directed all government agencies to compulsorily use shredded plastic during road construction on the basis of the outcome of a pilot project in which a 300-metre road and another 120-metre stretch, that were re-asphalted using plastic waste, remaining intact even after three years.

The 300-metre stretch of Vishnumurthy Temple Road in Alevoor and the 120-metre Swami Vivekananda Road in Maravanthe were asphalted using waste plastic after a workshop on recycling of plastic was conducted at the zilla panchayat on December 10, 2019.

The training was imparted by Padmashree awardee and plastic-man fame Vasudevan from Tamil Nadu. He had told the participants that up to 100 kg of plastic waste could be used along with bitumen while building a 1-km road. Such a measure, Dr. Vasudevan had said, would not only pave the way for constructive use of plastic waste, but also reduce the cost of construction and offer a flawless road surface. Following his guidance, the zilla panchayat built the two roads using plastic waste on an experimental basis.

Zilla panchayat CEO H. Prasanna said the panchayat encountered problems in disposing off or recycling inferior quality plastic waste, including multi-layer plastic, thermocol and foams, as they did not command a price in the market. Good quality plastic waste, however, was taken by recyclers.

The two roads where plastic waste was used along with bitumen on an experimental basis have remained in good condition without any pothole or other kinds of damage even after three years. This proved that roads constructed with plastic waste not only deliver quality, but also have longer life. The government has also issued an order directing agencies to use 10% of plastic waste with bitumen during road construction, he said.

In his order of January 16, Mr. Prasanna directed government construction agencies, including zilla panchayat engineering department, public works department, Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Limited, and others to ensure compulsorily mix of 10% of plastic in road construction. Sufficient quantity of shredded plastic is available in solid waste recovery centres in Vandse and Shankaranarayana gram panchayats of Kundapura taluk, Hebri gram panchayat of Hebri taluk and Nitte gram panchayat in Karkala taluk, he said. Construction agencies may procure the waste from these centres, he added.

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