Kerala’s literally paving the road for the rest of India to tackle plastic waste in the oceans.
The southern state is now using its fishermen to harvest plastic waste from the ocean that is used subsequently in laying roads.
India being home to two of the ten rivers globally that contribute 90% of the plastic waste choking the oceans and every Indian, on average, generating 11kg of plastic waste every year.
However, Kerala’s fisheries minister, J Mercykutty Amma, launched a campaign called Suchitwa Sagaram, or ‘Clean Sea’, that educates fishermen about a sustainable disposal mechanism for plastic waste. Once harvested from the sea, the plastic material is shredded by a plastic-shredding machine.
The material is then used as an asphalt supplement in road surfacing.
The advantage of using plastic waste as an asphalt substitute for road construction is that the melting point for plastic roads is around 66°C, compared to 50°C for conventional roads.
Using recycled plastic is also a cheaper alternative: every kilometre of plastic road uses the equivalent of a million plastic bags, costing roughly 8% less than a conventional road.
Efficient and sustainable plastic waste disposal mechanisms are the need of the hour. While India is already doing relatively better than most nations on tackling plastic waste
The US generates 10 times the amount of plastic waste as India Kerala’s raising the bar for other Indian states to come up with creative solutions.