Published: June 23, 2017
Image source: gouravgola89/Pixabay
By Aleksandra Pajda
In light of the current plastic waste crisis, recycling and reusing this omnipresent, but threatening, material is one of the biggest tactics we can use to lower the amount of waste floating around the environment. A number of initiatives determined to use plastic in the most effective and innovative ways are developing in many places all over the world. This time, an ingenious way to give waste another life is being executed in Tamil Nadu, India, where throughout the last five years, more than 1,600 tons of plastic have been used to lay over 620 miles of roads! The strategy is a part of the government’s efforts to effectively reuse plastic waste.
Municipal Administration Minister S. P. Velumani said in the state assembly that the government had placed “great importance” on effective use of plastic waste due to the major threat that it poses to the environment. “In order to ensure a plastic-free environment,” explained the Minister, as reported by DNA India, “road laying in corporations and municipalities is being done on plastic waste technology.”
Thanks to the financial assistance from the urban local bodies and government special fund, Tamil Nadu has utilized a total of 1634.27 tons of plastic in laying around 643.26 miles length of roads in the last five years. The efforts to minimize plastic waste in the area also involve the training and work of self-help groups engaged in the collection, segregation, and shredding of plastic waste.
Plastic roads, although the idea may seem improbable to some, have already proven to be an effective way to reuse plastic in very large quantities. They turn out not only to be perfectly safe but even much more durable than traditional roads.
We produce 300 million tons of plastic every year and leave as much as 78 percent of it is never recycled. Since plastic does not biodegrade, once the material is produced, it lingers on endlessly, polluting the planet. Around 8.8 million tons of plastic is dumped into the oceans every year, threatening the lives of many marine species. Considering the statistics, there is just one thing for each of us to do for sure regarding the plastic roads – hope that they get so popular that they reach as many countries and as much of our plastic trash as possible!