September 27, 2018

#WATWB Plastic Man Of India- Rajagopalan Vasudevan

This month I have an interesting person who has brought a sea of change in the way plastic wastes are treated in the country using methods in which the no-biodegradable waste becomes useful rather than an environmental hazard. He is Rajagopalan Vasudevan, a 73 year old professor from Tamilnadu state from Madurai district is popularly known as the “Plastic Man” who had devised method to reuse plastic waste to construct roads and the technology has been provided to the Government of India for free.  This method has been used to lay around 5,000 kilometers of the road across 11 states.

Rajagopalan Vasudevan is serving as a dean, department of chemistry, at Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai where he joined after completing his PhD at Madras University. He says that plastics have become common man’s friend and finds its use in every field. The consumption expected to be around 12 million tones and nearly 50 percent of the plastic consumed is used for packing including carry bags, cups, thermocoles and foams. These materials are manufactures using poly vinyl chloride and once its used are thrown out or littered. They mix with Municipal Solid waste, as they are non-biodegradable; the disposals are a problem and contribute for environmental pollution.

He says that the waste can be shredded into small pieces, added to the stone, melted, coated over the stone in just 30 seconds.  The mix is used for road construction, from rural roads to National High ways all types of roads can be laid using this technique. According to Mr Rajagopalan use of each tone of plastic waste avoids the entry of 3 tonnes of Co2 into the atmosphere, which otherwise results in global warming.

According to him 20,000 kms of roads are being laid across the country using plastic tar. Both the government departments and private parties in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry, Maharashtra, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Shillong and other places used plastic in laying roads. The plastic tar road life is twice compared to traditional ones and maintenance is also easy says Rajagopalan. He has been awarded Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honour in the country.

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Your co hosts for this month are Eric LahtiInderpreet UppalShilpa GargSylvia Stein,and  Peter Nena please link to them in your WATWB posts.
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  1. Fabulous Genevive - this sounds so great in using chopped up plastic and adding to stone to make roads that last longer! Rajagopalan Vasudevan deserves his high civilian honour. Thank you for sharing this story.

    1. Thanks Susan I was so glad to find out about Rajagopalan and truly he deserves the award for his innovative way of dealing with plastic waste.

  2. Great! It's going to be critical to find new ways to handle the vast amounts of existing plastics in the world. Any way we can find to get creative is amazing. Thanks for sharing!

    1. We have now dependent so much on the plastic usage, it will take a longer time to totally ban the usage... I think rajagopalan has found a way out in reusing plastic. Thank you for being here and appreciate your comment.

  3. That's such a fabulous initiative that has multi-prong benefits. Kudos to Mr Rajagopalan. Thanks for sharing this amazing story, Genevive!

    1. Thank you shilpa, am glad to come across this person and it my pleasure to share.


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