Indian state-owned firm Steel Authority of India’s (SAIL) Rourkela Steel Plant has started a new initiative of utilising waste plastic in the construction of roads.

Under the pilot project, a 1km stretch of road from Rourkela Club to Shaktinagar Chowk in Sector-2 of Rourkela in the Indian state of Odisha has been developed by mixing shredded waste plastic in road tar, reported media sources.

For this project, SAIL procured domestic garbage through a door-to-door collection programme, following which the plastic was segregated at different intermediate garbage stations situated across the Steel Township.

The collected material was then transported to a store at Sector-15 where it was shredded using local recyclers and transported to a hot mix plant to blend it with the aggregates used for tar concrete.

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“According to an estimate, about 60% of the total plastic waste generated in India is recycled, while the remaining 40% is littered damaging the environment.”

When heated, the aggregate gets coated with the plastic uniformly, which is then mixed with hot tar and used to build the road.

According to an estimate, 60% of the total plastic waste generated in India is recycled, while the remaining 40% is littered, damaging the environment.

Studies have found that this littered plastic can be used as a component to construct roads.

The addition of this material to bitumen was believed to enhance the marshall stability, strength, durability and resistance to water-induced damages.

SAIL plans to build more such ‘green roads’ through its steel plants in the upcoming months as part of the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat initiative.