The Indian Supreme Court declared earlier this year the country is “sitting on a plastic time bomb.” The pollution problem has become so urgent that lawmakers passed legislation last month making it mandatory for plastic waste to be incorporated into all new road construction. And if estimates hold true, there will be no shortage of materials. Residents of capital city, Dehli, alone generate nearly 7,000 tons of plastic waste every day, as reported by The Economic Times of India.
The owners of K K Plastic Waste Management Ltd’s, Rasool and Ahmed Khan, support the new laws, as their company has laid approximate 3,000 kilometers of roads using synthetic waste material since 2002. The brothers claim that roads made with a heated blend of plastics and aggregates last longer than asphalt alone. They are more water resistant, durable and cost less to construct. This could be a victory for everyone once all of the kinks are ironed out.
Recyclers Need to Be Educated about Plastics’ Differences
Rasool Khan told Citizens Matter their patent technology is only effective if dry plastics are sorted and collected at the source. Unfortunately, this also continues to be one of the greatest hurdles in the process. Experts predict there are seven different types of plastics, and most people don’t know their differences. Even if they are separating their plastics from organic materials, they are unaware if it is or isn’t permitted to actually be recycled. If KK Plastic Waste Management can resolve this issue, using plastic waste in roads and other construction materials can be a long-term, feasible solution to India’s man-made explosion.
Another point of concern is possible health risks occurring when toxic substances are emitted when heating plastics at high temperature. While others argue plastics polluting water sources and streets can also be harmful. Others say plastics are best used when recycled into fuel, rather than continue to use fossil fuels. While the debate will go on, the best solution of them all is eliminating or reducing the amount of waste we produce in the first place!
If you’re one who needs a little assistance remembering which plastics to recycle or not, check out Sustainablog’s editor Jeff’s post with links to helpful information. Leave me a note in the comment section if you think you know the smartest way plastics should be reused or recycled.
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