Kerala fishermen use plastic waste to build roads

Fishermen in the Indian state of Kerala are pulling out plastic from the ocean and using it for road surfacing.


India uses an average of 11kg plastic every year and much of this goe to the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean after serving its purpose. These growing heaps of sea plastic are harming marine life and birds.

Fishermen in Kerala would scoop out a lot of plastic waste when they would drag their net through the water to catch fish. Until recently they would throw the plastic waste back into the sea. But not anymore.

Last year Kerala’s fisheries minister J. Mercykutty Amma started a scheme called Suchitwa Sagaram, or Clean Sea, under which these fishermen are taught to collect the plastic and bring it back to shore, reported the World Economic Forum.

As per a UN report, just 10 months since the launch of the new scheme, the fishermen have removed 25 tonnes of plastic from the Arabian Sea which includes 10 tonnes of plastic bags and bottles.

The plastic waste scooped out by the fishermen is fed into a plastic shredding machine and is converted into material that is used for road surfacing.

There are more than 34,000km of plastic roads in India, mostly in rural areas. More than half of the roads in the southern state of Tamil Nadu are plastic.

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