India making policy to use plastic waste in road building - official

29 March 2013 08:01  [Source: ICIS news]

By Ajoy K Das

KOLKATA (ICIS)--The Indian government is actively preparing a policy to encourage the use of plastic waste as a raw material to be mixed with bitumen in building roads, an official in Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) said on Friday.

 “The three ministries of road transport, rural development and environment are working on fiscal incentives for use of technology for plastic waste in laying [building] of roads,” the official said.

The policy is expected to be announced in the next two to three months and its implementation is expected to start in financial year 2013/14 (April-March).

Financial incentives will be given to people who employ such technology and to local area governing bodies like municipalities, which would have the primary responsibility in managing, collecting, storing and supplying the required plastic waste, the official said.

“The technology has been standardized by the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) and the National Rural Roads Development Authority (NRRDA) has issued guidelines for its adoption. These would be framework on which the incentives would be based on,” the official added.

According to a NDDRA report about 8% of shredded waste plastic will be added to hot bitumen and the resultant mix will be used for road construction at temperatures of 110-120 degrees centigrade using standard 8 tonnes capacity road rollers.

About 5.6m tonnes of plastic waste was generated in 2012 in India, or about 15342 tonnes/day, providing enough raw material for the road construction, according to CPCB.

Indian per capita plastic consumption was 8 kg and per capita waste generation was 4.91 kg  in 2012.

The fund requirements for the new policy will be jointly met from budgetary allocations of the Ministry for Forest and Environment (MoEF) and Pradhan Mantri Grameen Sadak Yojna, a rural road development program administered by the Ministry for Rural Development, the official said.

According to the plan local governing bodies in collaboration with manufacturers were to provide financial assistance to establish such plastic waste collection centres.

The objective of the new policy is to achieve “zero waste”, the official said, but he could not say actually how much reduction in the plastic waste will take place once the scheme is implemented.

One of the most critical issue in devising any plastic waste management system in India was the very high amount of un-collected plastic waste, which is estimated at 2.24m tonnes/year in 2012, the official said.

Author: Ajoy K Das

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