Pune: The State government has made it mandatory to use waste plastic in road construction work as part of its ban on plastic in the State.
The Public Works Department (PWD) will have to use waste plastic to build State highways and district roads. However, the PWD has pointed out the issue of non-availability of plastic waste to be used in roadworks.
According to the Central Government Road Initiative, Maharashtra has made it mandatory for PWD to use plastic waste as per the Indian Road Congress guidelines. On Thursday, the State government issued an order stating that plastic waste or industrially recycled plastic should be used in road works as per the specifications of the Indian Road Congress (IRC).
KT Patil, Deputy Secretary (Road), has mentioned in the order that the PWD should follow the guidelines for use of waste plastic in the bituminous mix (dry process) in surfacing roads. After the completion of work, the department should check the quality of road after every three months and submit a report to the State government.
The IRC is the apex body of highway engineers in the country and has been formed by the Union government for road development.
Rajendra Rahane, Chief Superintendent, Pune circle, PWD, told Sakal Times, “We used waste plastic in some roadworks earlier. Now, we have handed over all roads to Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal corporations. They can use waste plastic in roadworks as they have plastic waste. The PWD doesn’t get plastic waste in rural areas to use in roads. Only city areas can use plastic waste for roads.”
According to the IRC, the use of waste plastic for pavements is one of the best methods for easy disposal of waste plastic.
It is hypothesised that waste plastic improves pavement performance due to plastic coated aggregates in the mix. This helps to have a better binding of bitumen with plastic waste coated aggregate due to increased bonding and increased area of contact between polymers and bitumen.
The polymer coating also reduces voids. This prevents moisture absorption and oxidation of bitumen by entrapped air. This reduces rutting, travelling. Hence, pothole formation is curbed. Roads can withstand heavy traffic and show better durability.
It is worth mentioning that the Pune Municipal Corporation had used plastic waste in road works in 2016. They used waste plastic in the construction of roads in different areas such as Dattawadi Kaka Halwai Lane, Katraj Dairy, Magarpatta City HCMTR Road, Kavde Mala Road, Koregaon Park Lane No 3, Yerawada Sadal Baba Darga Road from Chandrama Chowk.