The urban affairs ministry is likely to propose increasing the limit for using plastic waste as a fuel in cement factories from the current 10% to 25%. Waste plastic, particularly polythenes, has been one of the main reasons choking urban areas.
Currently, only 46 cement plants out of 238 factories across the country use waste plastic as fuel. According to official estimate, about 26,000 tonnes of plastic waste is generated across the country daily and only 60% of it is recyclable.
“The association of cement manufacturers has assured us that they will take necessary steps to ensure that all the cement plants use waste plastic as fuel. That will help us in a big way to get rid of the garbage that can’t be processed. Single-use plastics can be disposed in cement kilns and there will be no environmental issues as it uses high temperature where hazardous gases get absorbed,” said urban affairs secretary Durga Shankar Mishra.
Mishra was speaking to media persons barely hours before a symbolic demonstration of a Ravana made of waste plastic getting dismantled mechanically rather than being burnt at Ramlila Maidan in the capital on Tuesday evening. Such demonstrations were held in other cities, including Noida, Raipur and Ahmedabad.
“This is just a demonstration of how everyone is working hard to get rid of single use plastic. Waste plastic is being used in a big way for building roads,” Mishra said.
The Cement Manufactures’ Association said, “This initiative also highlights the role that the Cement Industry can play in, helping overcome this menace in its plants in an environment-friendly manner.”