Meet the ‘Plastic Man’ - the professor behind India's green roads


A television programme back in 2001 turned Prof. Rajagopalan Vasudevan of Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai, from just another professor to India’s ‘Plastic Man’, as reported by India Today.

According to Times Now, Prof. Rajagopalan Vasudevan, an ingenious innovator, is the man behind the technique of building roads made from plastic waste – a simple and effective method, which not only eliminates the problem of plastic but increases longevity of the roads as well.

As reported by The Better India, various plastic waste items can be used for road construction, like carry-bags, cups and packaging. Plastic waste helps increase the strength of the roads, which reduces road fatigue. These roads have better resistance towards rainwater and cold weather. Since large amounts of plastic waste is used to build relatively small stretches, this technology has contributed in reducing plastic waste.

His experiment with road building led Prof. Rajagopalan to yet another innovation in 2012, the ‘plastone’. A plastone block is made from a mixture of waste plastic and stone. It has been found to withstand high pressures. It’s also waterproof. Each plastone block consumes 300 plastic carry-bags and around six PET bottles.

This road construction process is eco-friendly and doesn’t release any toxic gases. A Government order issued in November 2015 has made use of waste plastic, along with bituminous mixes for road construction mandatory for all road developers in India.

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