NHAI to focus on using plastic waste to build highways in urban areas

Mamuni Das New Delhi | Updated on September 30, 2019 Published on September 30, 2019

Ministry of Road Transport and Highways encourages the use of waste plastic in construction of National Highways, especially in those areas located within 50 km of urban areas that have a population of 5 lakh or more, informed an official release. Highly populated urban
areas are likely to generate maximum plastic waste.

NHAI has already used plastic waste in wearing courses of National Highways construction on the pilot basis in the states of Tamil Nadu
and Kerala.

It is now scaling up the waste plastic use by mapping ongoing projects in the proximity of populous urban areas.  NHAI has recently constructed a stretch using waste plastic on NH-48 near DhaulaKuan in the capital. A portion of Delhi-Meerut expressway and Gurugram- Sohna road has also been planned for construction, using plastic waste.

Moreover, all the Regional Offices of NHAI have been asked to collect plastic waste from earlier this month (September 11 onwards). The
plastic waste thus collected shall be used for road construction.  Regional Officers have also been directed to coordinate with State/
Union Territories to receive plastic waste collected at various centres for use in road construction.

Before October 27, NHAI has planned to lay more than 100 kms of road.


The technology used is in compliance with the guidelines of Indian Roads Congress for the use of waste plastic in Hot Bituminous Mixes in
wearing courses which follows four successive stages. Start by collecting waste plastic followed by sorting, de-dusting and washing
if necessary. Cleaned usable plastic is than shredded to pieces of required size. In this shredded material, 6 to 8 per cent plastic waste by weight of bitumen is mixed with the aggregate in Central mixing plant. The waste plastic initially coats the heated aggregates.
Then, bitumen is added to the plastic waste coated aggregates. Construction of 1 kilometre of 4-lane highway would help in the
disposal of approximately seven tonnes of waste plastic, added the release.

Field performance studies carried out in India have identified many advantages of using waste plastic in bituminous mix for road
constructions such as; Higher resistance to deformation, Increased durability and improved fatigue life and Improved stability and
strength. Also reduces consumption of bitumen in the mixes will drop.

Besides, this process opens up an avenue for environment friendly disposal of waste plastic.

NHAI has also to track long term performance monitoring of National highways using plastic waste with bituminous mixes for evaluation of
pavement performance. This will bring confidence amongst the practicing engineers, added the release.

Published on September 30, 2019
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