According to the Central Pollution Control Board, about 15,000 tons of plastic waste is produced daily in India. Congruently, in 2016, it was estimated that around 60 percent of all plastic pollution in the oceans come from Asia. With this shocking fact in mind, many Asian countries are taking steps towards limiting the extreme amount of plastic waste they produce. For example, India’s capital banned the use of disposable plastics at the end of 2016. Additionally, there are a number of remarkable individuals who are creating their own initiatives to reduce plastic in the country.
Rajagopalan Vasudevan, the so-called “Plastic Man” of India, is one of them. His efforts led to the creation of over 3,100 miles (5000 kilometers) – that’s roughly the distance from New York City to Los Angeles – worth of roads made of plastic waste. Vasudevan is a chemistry professor from Madurai and he invented a revolutionary pollutant-free and eco-friendly technology that allows for the creation of roads with the use of plastic waste. He believes that plastic is a gift from God and, as such, it has the power to be a truly great resource for all of us, if we learn to use it properly. The plastic roads are located throughout at least eleven states across India.
This fantastic technology is not only great for the environment, but it is also very cost-efficient both in construction and maintenance as heavy machinery isn’t needed to put these roads in place. What is more, plastic roads also turn out to be much more durable than traditional ones.
“The advantages of using waste plastics for road construction are many,” Vasudevan said in an interview with The Better India. “The process is easy and does not need any new machinery. For every kilo of stone, 50 gms of bitumen is used and 1/10th of this is plastic waste; this reduces the amount of bitumen being used.”
The importance of this great technological innovation cannot be overstated. With 300 million tons of plastic produced every year throughout the world, and most of it ending up in the oceans and landfills, every new initiative to reuse this abundance of dangerous debris is an important step in the right direction. One as far-reaching and expedient as Vasudevan’s technology is a truly great win that hopefully will be further supported and introduced in many other places across the world!
To learn about how to reduce your own use of disposable plastics and help the planet, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!
Let’s #CrushPlastic! Click the graphic below for more information.
Image source: Walkability Asia