When plastic aids in solid waste disposal
Plastone is a combination of plastic waste and other materials
Disposal of building debris, limestone, fly ash, cement bags and crushed metal wires has always posed a problem for big industries. Ironically, plastic waste is being used to facilitate their easy disposal.
The waste materials are mixed with plastic waste to make sturdy blocks that have various applications. Plastone is the name given by the Centre for Studies on Solid Waste Management at Thiagarajar College of Engineering (TCE), Madurai, to the ‘synthetic granite’ developed by it as an extension of road construction technology using plastic waste.
Ideal for construction
Plastone facilitates waste disposal and is also ideal for low-cost construction, especially of toilets. R. Vasudevan, Dean, TCE and a Padma Shri awardee, said that it was their contribution to the Swachh Bharat Mission. The cost of a toilet fabricated by the CSSWM with plastone is much lower than one constructed with conventional materials. One such toilet consumes 245 kg of plastic waste and costs ₹9,000.
With the technology being shared by TCE, companies like GHCL, Sundaram Brake Linings, Unilever Industries and Hindalco have come forward to use plastone for solid waste disposal, said Dr. Vasudevan.
Disposable cups, bags, bottles, containers and packing materials are shredded and added to solid aggregate, which can be ceramic, stone or metal pieces. The hot blend is moulded into the required size and shape. Rubber or polymer coating gives plastone a sheen.
Sturdy blocks: Plastone samples made with plastic and solid waste in Madurai.