The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is planning to use plastic waste to lay or repair roads on the city-side of airports, and the plan is expected to be put in motion soon.
To test the waters, the initiative is expected to be tried out in Madurai, Chennai, or Thiruvananthapuram, where airports generate a huge amount of plastic waste.
Here are the details.
How the plan came into being
The plan was made after AAI engineers met an expert from Madurai who specializes in using plastic waste to lay roads.
Following the interaction, AAI chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra gave the nod to try out the initiative, and suggested that roads inside airports could be relaid using plastic waste.
If successful, the initiative could be expanded considerably.
Plastic waste roads?
Plastic waste mixed with bitumen creates robust roads
The obvious question is, how can plastic waste be used to lay roads?
Well, as it turns out, recycled plastic waste mixed with bitumen can be used to lay robust roads.
Notably, plastic waste-bitumen roads have already been used to pave the fire station premises at the Christchurch International Airport in New Zealand, and reportedly, such roads need no maintenance for 15 years.
How re-using plastic waste would benefit India
If initial trials are successful, AAI could soon use plastic waste to lay perimeter roads around airports, and even taxiways.
Apart from lower road maintenance costs, plastic waste roads, if made mainstream, could significantly help with waste management problems.
Further, if plastic waste is put into productive use, it would also contribute to India becoming a greener economy.
Days back, the AAI had undertaken another green initiative
Interestingly, the AAI's plans to use plastic waste for road laying comes at a time when it has undertaken another green initiative.
On January 4, the AAI announced a ban on single-use plastic items like straws, plastic plates etc. across 16 airports - Indore, Bhopal, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar, Tirupati, Trichy, Vijayawada, Dehradun, Chandigarh, Vadodara, Madurai, Raipur, Vizag, Pune, Kolkata and Varanasi.
AAI taking the lead in environmentally conscious initiatives
"Rampant modernisation and commercialisation are leading to exerting our planet and making it devoid of its natural resources. Being an environmentally conscious public sector enterprise, the AAI has decided to make its airports plastic free by banning the use of single-use plastic items on the premises across the country," an AAI spokesperson had said.