Called the Green Road project, the public-private partnership will bring about tangible benefits to the Bhutan. A report in Reuters quoted Rikesh Gurung, a plastic road entrepreneur, as saying that the new project will help Bhutan reduce bitumen imports by 40% (the country currently relies on India for imports). As far as plastic waste is concerned, the country hopes to divert at least 30% of all plastic that goes into landfills in the country. In countries where there is still a lack of mandates to govern waste disposal, tons of plastic is burned, which only adds to environmental pollution. In this backdrop, a project that encourages the recycling of plastic, as opposed to burning it, is a more sustainable alternative.
The report further states that the amount of plastic in the road paving mixture will be no more than 15%. At a time when countries are beset with waste management issues, this ingenuous idea could set an example. The project to build eco-friendly roads in Bhutan received a go-ahead after Gurung demonstrated the idea by building a 150-meter long road in a pilot project.
This innovative project, which Bhutanese road development officials are already terming a success, will likely be replicated in other regions of the country over the next few years. According to the Reuters report, Gurung was inspired by a similar project that he had seen in Tamil Nadu, a state in south India.