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Karnataka's waste-to-wealth way out of plastic mess

Karnataka had mandated the use of plastic waste in the construction of rural roads.

Besides cutting costs by an estimated Rs 10,000 per km, this would allow citizens to earn by selling single-use items to the government.

In an order, the Rural Development & Panchayat Raj (RDPR) department has said that all road works should have 5-10% non-recyclable plastic waste blended with bitumen. This would lead to small, but significant savings as rural road development worth Rs 5,000 crore is in progress or will be executed over the next one year, according to officials.

“Research has shown that the use of 5-10% plastic in the work would not only make bitumen effective, but also lead to long-lasting roads,” the order states. The order cites the example of Erode district in Tamil Nadu where the use of bitumen for one km of road work came down from 5,475 kg to 5,037 kg - a reduction of 438 kg.

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