ISLAMABAD: Plastic will be used to construct roads in the federal capital and other cities as this concept is environment-friendly.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid said on Monday while inaugurating the first ever plastic road project, under which a patch of 1km-long road of Ataturk Avenue was carpeted with plastic mixed bitumen.

The minister appreciated the Capital Development Authority (CDA) Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed and other partners for coming up with the idea. The inauguration ceremony was attended by students and environment-friendly people. A ceremonial walk was also arranged.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed speaks at the inauguration ceremony on Monday. — White Star
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed speaks at the inauguration ceremony on Monday. — White Star

The project, for which 10 tonnes of plastic bottles were utilised, has been implemented jointly by Coca-Cola, National Incubation Centre and CDA. It must be noted that several countries of the world have already constructed a number of plastic roads.

According to the beverage company, the use of plastic to make roads is a global practice and these roads are more durable. The objective of the project is to protect the environment, but if scaled up to other roads in rural areas, urban centres and national highways, the positive impact on both development and the environment will be on a large scale, not cosmetic.

CDA Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed told Dawn that before carpeting the road, CDA and its partners conducted a trial in F-9 Park which was successful.

He said Islamabad produced around 700 tonnes of waste daily including around 150 tonnes of plastic waste. “In the future, we will use plastic waste for the good purpose of using in roads. This step will not only help CDA reduce cost of the roads but above all it will help to reduce pollution,” he added.

CDA Director Omer Sagheer said under the new formula,10 kgs plastic is used for 42kg bitumen, adding that these roads have good marshal stability value than bitumen roads and also have good penetration value and durability.

Speaking to Dawn, Professor of Environmental Sciences at the International Islamic University Islamabad Dr Mohammad Irfan Khan appreciated inauguration of the project.

He said these roads are imperative to reduce dust, which has been a source of poor air quality.

“We have the worst air quality so plastic roads will be helpful to reduce dust so air quality can be improved. Whereas, plastic waste has badly hit streams, rivers and other water sources. It also affects soil fertility. I would say, the government should carpet maximum number of roads under plastic mixed bitumen to control dust pollution”, he said.

Earlier, Coca Cola’s representatives including vice president Fahad Ashraf and Pervez Abbasi from National Incubation Centre also shed light on the project.

Published in Dawn, December 7th, 2021

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