Indian states curbing Plastic pollution–A review

Here is a review of all the initiatives taken up by Indian states and cities to curb plastic pollution.

Kerala’s Suchitwa Sagaram

Kerala, a southern state of India has took a step forward to remove plastics from sea and use them in laying roads. “Suchitwa Sagaram” (which translates to Clean Sea) is the campaign started by Fisheries ministry of Kerala last year in June 2017 with a motive to curb marine pollution due to plastics.

plastic pollution

With a coastline of around 580 km, Kerala is one among top 5 fish producing states of India. The aquatic life is being disturbed by the intrusion of various plastics. As a  measure to stop this plastic pollution, Suchitwa Sagaram was started in Neendakara harbor, Kollam with 28 people working specifically for this initiative. The main objective of this initiative is to prohibit dumping of plastics into waters, collect plastics already present in the waters and use the collected plastic for sustainable applications. They use 5 trawlers for this purpose. The collected plastics are being shredded into smaller portions using a plastic shredder and later used for road construction.

Clean Sea

So far, it is reported that a total of 25 tones of plastic waste is being collected among which 10 tones is of plastic bottles and bags and 15 tones is of other discarded plastics, ropes and fishing nets. Recently, Kerala fisheries minister J. Mercykutty Amma announced that this mission will be extended to Kochi in a short period of time.
As we all know that India is the second largest country for fish production with approximately 9.45 lakh metric tones of fish produced annually, there is a dire need for all other coastal states of India to follow the footsteps of Kerala.

Plastics in Road Construction

In 2002, a Professor of Chemistry at Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai experimented the usage of waste plastic in laying the roads. His name is Rajagopalan Vasudevan and he is regarded as “Plastic Man” of India. Since then, his methodology of mixing shredded plastics (Plastic wastes gets coated on the aggregates at heating temperature of 165oC) with bituminous mix is being used in laying roads throughout India. According to World Economic Forum, it is estimated that around 34,000 km of roads are laid by using waste plastic bituminous mix. Also, in some news reports it is claimed that at least 11 States of India had laid roads made of waste plastics already exceeded 1,00,000 km. States like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Goa, Delhi, and Maharashtra are utilizing waste plastic in construction of raods.
rajagopalan vasudevan
Prof Vasudevan

The cities of India

Chennai’s roads are being laid using plastic wastes from the days of inception of this methodology. Also, Indore recycles 100 percent of its plastics and used 5,000 kilos of waste plastic to build 45 km of roads in last two years. Pune, the city of Maharashtra has also built 1430 km of plastic roads in the past two years.
JUSCO (Jamshedpur Utility and Services Company) which is a subsidiary company of Tata Steel has laid roads made up of waste plastics in Jamshedpur and also it is encouraging other cities like Ranchi, Chas and Jamtara to built their own plastic roads. JUSCO constructed 12-15 km road and widened 22 roads using waste plastic as ingredient.
In 2015-16, the National Rural Road Development Agency has laid around 7500 km of roads using waste plastics as constituent.

plastics roads in Jamshedpur

North-east States: Meghalaya and Manipur

Meghalaya took the initiation for constructing roads made of waste plastic in North-East India. By using 470 kilograms of plastic waste, a 1 km stretch road was constructed this year in the village of Nongkynjeng in Meghalaya’s West khasi Hills district. Two more roads are also being built with plastic waste in Meghalaya.
plastic road in meghalaya

Manipur is the next to follow footsteps of Meghalaya in North-East India. The Manipur Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has urged for the usage of plastic waste in road construction  and approached Manipur Public Works Dept. giving instructions to make the use of plastic waste in road construction mandatory in the state.

Punjab to join the list

Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) had successfully carried out trails on the use of MLP (Multi-layered Plastic) on a village road at Okolaha last month. It is expected that the Punjab Public Works Dept. will use the MLP waste roads in the construction of 500 km of link roads once the approval got sanctioned from IRC, Highway Research Board. Multi-layered Plastics are plastics which are used to pack food products like chips, biscuits etc., These plastics have no alternate usage. So, most of the times these plastics are ignored during recyclable plastics collection and left with municipal wastes.

Seems like Indian states are not in a very bad state solving the problem of Plastics. But, the participation of all other states of India is essential to collectively the curb the problem with Plastics.

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1 Response to "Indian states curbing Plastic pollution–A review"

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