The Plastic Man of India, Dr. R. Vasudevan’s ‘plastic road’ technology was patented in the year 2006. However, even after 13 or so years India has been building roads the traditional way, a few exceptions being certain roads in Tamil Nadu and a few pilot projects in Delhi-NCR.
With the plastic menace at an all time high, this technology can not only help reduce tonnes of plastic waste in the country, but also provide pot-hole free, long-lasting, rutting and ravelling-free roads for years to come. However, despite all the benefits of the said roads, the civic authorities have turned a blind eye for no obvious reasons whatsoever.
Anyway, we are proud of Padma Shri award winner Dr. Vasudevan, who, along with his team, has done his bit to preserve the environment. Now it is all up to the government as to when and how to lay these roads nation-wide.
Let’s have a look at the process involved in making such Plastic Roads that can help build a better India:
Plastic road laying process
1) Waste Plastic
In order to lay a 1-km-long road, 1 tonne of shredded plastic waste is required along with 9 tonnes of bitumen. In the traditional method, over 10 tonne of bitumen is used in laying the same length of road. Thus, with the use of plastic, we can save that 1 tonne of bitumen, which in turn would result in a saving of at least INR 50,000.
For those who are not aware of the term bitumen- it is a sticky black-coloured material like tar or asphalt used for making roads and roofs.
The shredded plastic is then heated at temperature of 165 degrees Celsius.
2) Hot Gravel
Now, the hot polymer obtained in the above-step is mixed with hot gravel, which are small, round stones, whom we often refer to as “Kankad” in Hindi.
3) Molten Asphalt
The mixture obtained in the previous point is then added to hot bitumen (also known as molten asphalt), at 6% to 8% by volume.
4) Road is paved
With the completion of the 3rd point, you have all the required material. Now, the road can be paved by just following the regular process.
Further advantages of plastic roads
- The quality of the road will never degrade during the rainy season because they are water-proof and not even a single droplet will seep through.
- Normal asphalt roads can last without hindering-blisters for a max of 3 years, while the plastic roads can easily survive as many as 8 years.
- Under no circumstances, should the road melt or crack!
According to official government stats, over 16,000 km of plastic road had been laid in Tamil Nadu until 2014. However, we at Very Short News, believe that this figure is highly overstated.
Reportedly, this method is being slowly deployed in a number of states including HP, MP, Kerala, Meghalaya and Delhi-NCR.
Notably, over 15K tonnes of plastic waste is generated in the country EACH DAY!
Polyvinyl Chloride is the only class of plastic that is never-ever used in the process, because, when heated, it emits harmful dioxides into the atmosphere, which can further deteriorate the quality of air.