Maharashtra government has decided to use plastic waste along with tar in a bid to improve the durability and longevity of asphalt roads and reduce soil pollution.
"The Centre in its recommendations has stated that using plastic waste along with tar to build roads improves the quality. It also helps reduce soil pollution caused by plastic. Thus, the state government has decided to include plastic waste along with tar while building roads," a Public Works Department official said.
He said the CSIR-Central Road Research Institute has assured the government that roads built by using plastic waste along with tar will be of better quality and cheaper.
In the beginning, municipal corporations with a population of over 5 lakh and municipal councils that have a population of over 2 lakh will be asked to include plastic waste for building roads in 50-km radius, the official said.
For every 100 kg of tar used to build asphalt roads, 3 to 6 kg of plastic will be mixed in it, he said, adding materials like plastic carry bags, sacks, milk pouches, bin linings, cosmetic and detergent bottles, drinking water bottles, bottle caps, household articles will be used.
"Studies have revealed that plastics waste have great potential for use in bituminous construction as its addition in small doses, about 5-10 per cent by weight of bitumen, helps in substantially improving the Marshall stability, strength, fatigue life and other desirable properties of bituminous mix, leading to improved longevity and pavement performance," the guidelines by the Centre said.
"The benefits are - such roads will have higher resistance to deformation, water induced damages, increase durability, strength and ultimately dispose of plastic waste in a larger quantity to save pollution," it said, adding, "The use of waste plastic thus contributes to construction of green roads."