A. Professor (chemsitry) Rajapgopalan Vasudevan, from Thayagarajar College of Engineering in Madurai came up with the idea of recylcing the growing amount of plastic waste generated every year in India.
Based on his idea, he experimented the use of heated bitumen ( main compenent of road works) mixed with waste plastic and then using it as a final coating to the crushed, compacted stone layer of the road. He did this in 2002. In 2002, Jambulingam street, Nungambakkam area of Chennai was one the first platic roadt in India. The college got a patent in 2006. He moved on to create 'plastone blocks in 2012 and use if for compound walls, canal walls etc.
B. The Government of India, in 2015 accepted the use of plastics in road works. Toward the end of 2011, plastic raods were laid in Jameshedpur followed by other cities. This option was also quoted under the Swach Bharath campiagn
C.If we read the Government policy on plastic page management page19-20 of this pdf (file:///C:/Users/HP/Downloads/Resource%20book_Plastic%20Waste%20Management.pdf) (swachhbharatmission.gov.in/.../Download.aspx?...Plastic%20Waste%20Management.p.)
D.The biggest setback or problem with plastic roads is that the used plastic is still present. As the surface wear and tear occurs with everyday use, there is fear of stirring up micro-plastic particle related pollution and its potential effects on being inhaled by humans.
E.Also, during the production phase, since various plastics are used, there is an inherent problem of each of these separating out leading to structural weakness of the 'plastic-bitumen' mix and hence the road itself.
F.Even if the plastic-bitumen mixture is stable, its on the top of an old, weak roads, can lead to plastic fragments being dislodged and finding its way in the soil and the water. There are reports that build up of microplastics in the soil can potentially lead to disturbances in the soil bio-ecology that supports plant and animal life.
G. Knowing our ground realities in our country, there could be many hurdles in transforming this pilot project plastic road to the next giant leap of mainstream national road works of the entire country. There would be logistical issues,anti-plastic road lobbying by the traditional road work and plastic waste management sectors, there could be issues with sourcing the waste, issues with certifying and quality control, need for newer machines or incorporating technology etc.