Plastic roads are made by using plastic waste as a binding agent in road construction. The plastic waste is first shredded and then mixed with bitumen, which is a sticky substance commonly used in road construction. This mixture is then used as the binding agent in the road construction process.
Over the years, these roads constructed using waste plastic, popularly known as Plastic Roads, are found to perform better compared to those constructed with conventional bitumen. As a result, Plastic Roads have been increasingly seen as one possible solution for Plastic Waste Management.
There are several potential benefits to using plastic in road construction. These include:
- Increased durability: Plastic is more resistant to wear and tear than traditional road materials, which could lead to longer-lasting roads.
- Reduced maintenance costs: Plastic roads may require less maintenance than traditional roads, which could save money in the long run.
- Recycling of plastic waste: Plastic roads could help to reduce the amount of plastic waste in the environment by recycling plastic waste into road construction.
- Lightweight and easy to handle: Plastic roads have a lower weight per square meter than traditional road materials, and are easy to transport and handle during construction.
- Cost-effective: Plastic roads are considered to be cost-effective in comparison to traditional road materials, as they are cheaper to produce and install.
However, there are also some concerns related to the use of plastic in road construction, such as the potential for plastic to break down over time and release microplastics into the environment.
While plastic roads have several potential benefits, there are also some potential disadvantages to consider. Some of the main disadvantages include:
- Environmental concerns: The use of plastic in road construction may contribute to the problem of plastic waste in the environment. If the plastic roads degrade over time, they could release microplastics into the environment, which can be harmful to wildlife and ecosystems.
- Lack of long-term data: Plastic roads are a relatively new technology and there is a lack of long-term data on their performance and durability. This makes it difficult to fully understand the long-term impact of plastic roads on the environment and on road maintenance.
- Limited recyclability: Plastic roads may not be fully recyclable, which means that the plastic used in the roads may end up in landfills at the end of their life.
- Compatibility issues: Plastic roads may not be compatible with certain types of vehicles, such as heavy trucks, which could cause damage to the road surface.
- Health hazard: Plastic roads may release toxic gases when heated by the sun, which can be harmful to human health.
It’s important to consider these potential disadvantages when deciding whether or not to use plastic roads in construction. More research and testing are needed to fully understand the long-term impact of plastic roads and to address these potential disadvantages.
Who Invented Plastic Roads
Plastic roads were first developed by an Indian engineer named Rajagopalan Vasudevan, also known as the “Plastic Man of India.” He began experimenting with using plastic waste in road construction in 2001, and by 2005 he had developed a method for mixing plastic waste with bitumen, which is used as a binder in road construction. His technology has been used in the construction of roads in several Indian states, and it is being considered for use in other countries as well.