The Use of Plastics Waste in Roads Construction


Mian Majid Ali Afzal,

There are almost 40 million km of roads in the world and in Pakistan the total length of roads almost 264,401 km made using hundreds of millions of oil crude, now we can solve two major Pakistan’s problems, the poor quality of roads where we drive on, and the waste plastic products that we all see in our country we use waste plastic products to add into an asphalt mix to create a stronger, longer lasting pothole free road. Normally roads comprise around 90 percent rocks, limestone, sand and up to 10 percent bitumen to bind it. Bitumen is extracted from crude oil. Around 70 percent of plastic waste goes to landfill or is incinerated. The waste plastic is process into billions of pellets are mix up with quarried rock and some bitumen and this plastic asphalt is ready for plastic roads, these roads are cheaper, durable, and last longer. This is a way to save our planet.
The utility of plastic is ever expanding and now plastic have come on the roads too. Plastic has normally do not get recycled due to economic and other reasons would no longer go to the landfills. In the revolutionary process waste plastic get mixed with bitumen to make stronger roads heading towards human progress and development. Later it also proved to be environment friendly method of disposal of plastic waste especially the thrown away carry bags and some varieties of one time use plastic materials, with this one step have begins a journey of thousand miles. In the meantime we are facing growing of global problems like the flooding of urban areas, plastic waste and traffic congestion on a large scale, new kind of roads have many advantages over existing products and that solving major problems like recycling plastic waste instead of burning it or putting it under the land and fields it reducing hindrances for road users. It’s easy to install and can even provide in urban areas above all, it’s more sustainable and contribute in circular economy. It’s the plastic road to give plastic waste to a new endurance life, to recycle plastic waste into lightweight prefabricated hollow alleviates, this means compare to conventional roads less have the equipment needed to deliver and construct plastic road make an ecological footprints much smaller than the elements designed with a halo space which can be used for drainage of excess water making the road flood proof this space can also be used for cables and piping, due to the lightweight less prone to subsistence making the road surrounding even more sustainable. Fewer repairs are needed. And the impact is significantly reduced since the major construction of the prefab elements simplifies repair works. A damaged element can be easily repaired and refurbish or recycled into a new element. All adding up to a prolonged life expectancy of the plastic roads. This will save the government money as well as the environment as it is very economical and save the expenses of charcoal, we have to use it gainfully, this is an experimental stage.
In its journey towards perfection as material in dealing with the issues of waste management and finding new visitors of application. Plastic is turning over a new leaf this road is its momentous beginning road engineering have been experiencing with use of certain synthetic polymers to improve the binding property of asphalt roads. Polymer blended bitumen show the highest softening point, and lower penetrating value, and better ductility. Polymer coated aggregates blended with bitumen give higher martial stability value. All these aspects improve the performance criteria of asphalt roads. However, the high cost of version synthetic polymer limited the use to merely higher the cost of application area.Though plastic waste is recyclable and a collective or appropriate recycling process of secondary application. These low and plastic waste are generally abated by the waste pickers due to difficulty in clearing and segregation, collection process of these very lightweight plastic waste become an unavailable proposition for the waste pickers.On the other hand the low and plastic waste can be used for road construction without elaborate cleaning and segregation.By using simple techniques these are shredded into powdery form and mixed with hot bitumen and hot aggregate. The aggregate is heated to a range of 170 to 180c in the hotly mixed plant and the shredded plastic waste is added to it. The plastic becomes soft and coated over the hot aggregate. The hot bitumen is immediately added to it and mixed well.This mixture is transferred then transferred on the roads fully.In the continuous plant the shredded plastic waste is spread over the aggregate with the help of automatic dosing machine. The aggregate with shredded plastic enters into the rotter where plastic get molten and it’s deposited on the surface of aggregate in the first top of the rotter. Molten bitumen is then sprayed on to the plastic coated aggregate which is still under rotation. Such mixture then taken out and use for laying the road experiments have proved the waste of plastic increases the life of road and at the same time the cost of construction of such roads also comes down due to facts cost of plastic waste is less than that bitumen, 10 to 15% replacement of bitumen but plastic waste reduce the overall cost of substantially.
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