[2018] Plastic Road Construction | How Does it Works?

[2018] Plastic Road Construction | How Does it Work?

Plastic road is a composition of plastic and bitumen which helps us solve many problems like plastic wastes disposal.
 Even the durability and longevity of roads can be increased by using these plastic roads. Learn every detail about the plastic road which you never heard of.


➤The Man behind Plastic Road: The Plastic Man

Depending on the uses of Plastic, there are pros and cons of plastic. The biggest problem is that Plastic does not decompose.

From the last decade, plastic garbage is becoming a serious threat to us because this is not a biodegradable product.

Mr. Rajagopalan Vasudevan, professor of chemistry takes this problem as a challenge and started making experiments with plastic to make an easier way of disposing of plastic.

After multiple tries, he ended up with a revolutionary idea: PLASTIC ROAD.

Yes! You heard it right. The concept is that treating the plastic wastes as construction material. 
This will not only improve the ecological system but also the improves the quality and strength of flexible pavements.

From the past few years, The Plastic road is emerging as one of the best achievement in civil engineering history.

“The advantages of using waste plastics for road construction are many. The process is easy and does not need any new machinery. For every kilo of stone, 50 gms of bitumen is used and 1/10th of this is plastic waste; this reduces the amount of bitumen being used.  Plastic increases the aggregate impact value and improves the quality of flexible pavements.  Wear and tear of the roads has decreased to a large extent,” explains the proud Plastic Man of India.

➤ What is the plastic road?

In the case of plastic road construction, plastic is used with bitumen or asphalt mix.
From carry bags to cups various item of plastic can be used for road construction.
In 2002 Mr plastic man constructed a road length of 60 feet which is still intact today.
Using plastic in road constructions opens up a new door of disposing of plastic and reduces the usage of bitumen.

Roads made with plastic and other materials are more durable than conventional roads which are made without plastic.

➤ Plastic road construction process

1. Sorting- Collecting plastic waste or garbage is the first process of road construction.

2. Shredding- Collected plastic items are cleaned thoroughly and then oven-dried. After that, The whole amount of plastic is shredded into a size of 2.36 mm to 4.75 mm.


3. Heating- Heating process is very important which actually influence the overall quality of plastic. The total mixture then heated up to 170°c.

4. Construction- The melted plastic is then added with bitumen or sometimes added with asphalt mix.

➤ Advantages of Plastic RoadConstruction


  • Durability and lifespan of the road.
  • More Weather resistance
  • Increase in Strength 
  • Cost-efficient
  • solves the problem: disposal of plastic.
  • Low-cost maintenance.
  • The required amount of bitumen and asphalt is decreased.

∎ One of the plus points of this method is that it is a very simple process where no new machinery is required.

By following this process, aggregate impact value can be increased of a road. Hence improves the overall quality of flexible pavements.

∎ It can be considered the most easier way of disposing of plastic wastes which are found scattered all over.

∎ Adding plastic can reduce the amount of bitumen or asphalt which is required.
This will leads to less consumption of bitumen.

 Therefore reduction in cost can be noticed.

∎ Less consumption of asphalt will also reduce the worldwide Carbon emission.

∎ Asphalt-plastic composite roads have better wear resistance than standard concrete roads. 
These type of roads do not absorb water and also improves the flexibility which means less maintenance problem and less rutting. 

∎ Since the use of plastic garbage is increasing fastly, this process created an additional job for rag pickers.

➤ Disadvantages of Plastic road Construction

∎ During the laying process of the road, releases noxious HCL gas which is bad for a safe environment.

∎ Sometimes it is observed that Plastic presents on the road surface can break down into microplastics, which further cause structural failure and sometimes even premature failure.

➤ Plastic road projects


∎ The concept of using plastic in road construction is growing fast. Normally For each kilometer of road construction, 10 tonnes of bitumen is required.

∎ But in the case of plastic road construction, 9 tonnes of bitumen and 1 tonne of plastic is used Which means around 1 lakh carry bags is disposed of for each kilometer of road.

∎ Through road construction, engineers have found the best way of disposing of plastic wastes. 

∎ In 2002, Jambulingam street(India) was one of the first plastic roads which is still intact.

More than 21,000 miles of plastic road has been constructed in India and the number is increasing at a high rate.

∎ Currently, there are many ongoing projects in India like the projects of TATA, Asian school of business etc.

It is also observed that plastic roads do not need any maintenance for the first 5 years.

∎ Jamshedpur Utility and Services Company (JUSCO) constructed 12-15 km length of road in the steel city of India(Jamshedpur).

➤ Conclusion

Guardian graphic | Source: Statista, PlasticsEurope

Surely plastic road is the next big thing in the civil engineering industry. This technique will solve the various problem at the global level.

This will turn 'plastic as an enemy' to 'Plastic as the biggest resource'.
Still, plastic as a construction material is not accepted worldwide but the initiation process has begun.

Plastic roads considered a revolutionary idea that has all the power to solve the plastic disposal problem.


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Please comment below if you have any unanswered question.

[2018] Plastic Road Construction | How Does it Works? [2018] Plastic Road Construction | How Does it Works? Reviewed by Civil049seminar on October 16, 2018 Rating: 5

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