How Kerala is taking the green route by reusing plastics to construct roads

Under the state government’s Suchitwa Mission, launched in 2014, Kerala has built 246 km of roads till date by using 9,700 tonnes of non-recyclable plastic waste.
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Plastic pollution adversely affects both animal and aquatic life, and disposing plastic has almost become an environmental nightmare. As per a report, around eight million tonnes of plastic enters our oceans annually.

While plastic is often seen as a waste, Kerala has come up with a plan to make effective use of this.

The state has used 9,700 tonnes of non-recyclable plastic waste, which includes food storage containers, disposable diapers, bottle caps, etc., to construct 246 km of road.

The construction of these roads is a part of the state’s Suchitwa Mission, launched in 2014, with an aim to make Kerala a clean and green state.

(Image: The Hindu)



Speaking to NDTV about the initiative, Renjith Abraham from Suchitwa Mission, said,

“Kerala has always been ahead in managing its waste. Last year, on November 1, during Kerala’s foundation day, the state declared its intention of becoming India’s first waste-free state, wherein authorities set a target of making Kerala zero-waste in one year’s time. Since then, a lot of initiatives have been taken in order to reduce waste production in Kerala.”

To begin with, 500 metres of road was blacktopped with polymerised roads using plastic waste in Rajagiri college in Kerala. The plastic waste included plastic bottles, packaging materials, caps, and other discarded items.

After seeing success, the experiment soon spread like a wildfire and motivated the former Gram Panchayat president to implement the same at other places.

To understand the technicalities and how to implement it, the panchayat council approached the Public Works Department (PWD).

Once the idea was approved, the panchayat started using shredded plastic along with bitumen for tarring the roads. For this, a plastic shredder with a capacity of shredding 500 kg of plastic every day was installed, reports Plus approach.



The shredded plastic waste is sold to the PWD, who then uses it for road construction. Till date, the panchayat has sold 800 kg of plastic at Rs 20 per kg.

Renjith further explains,

“Alongside, the government also started ‘Kudumbashree’ movement in the state where the workers go door-to-door every fortnight to collect non-recyclable plastic. The state government has also invested in plastic shredding infrastructure and made around 418 Resource Recovery Facilities in the state so that the waste can be segregated properly, and non-recyclable waste can be collected easily,” reports NDTV.

The state government has made it a rule to have women members from each block/village/gram panchayat to facilitate the process. Known as Haritha Karma Sena (Green Warriors), they are responsible for carrying out the campaign from door-to-door to collect plastic waste, and segregate the collected waste.

By recycling plastic effectively with such initiatives, Kerala is proving to be an example to other states in the country to tackle plastic waste.


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