Green Road continues to forge ahead with eco bricks for a sustainable future

To foster environmental responsibility and tackle plastic waste, Green Road is making strides in the country with its innovative initiative of blacktopping roads with plastic waste. This time, the company is collaborating with schools in Thimphu in reusing plastic waste. It buys eco-bricks from schools at Nu 10 per kilogram to blacktop roads. Eco bricks are created by tightly packing clean and dry plastic waste into plastic bottles.

Since 2015, Green Road has been using plastic waste to blacktop roads in more than four districts, a venture that has proven immensely successful in terms of durability and repurposing non-recyclable plastics.

However, the organisation realised the health risks associated with collecting plastics from landfills, prompting them to devise a new approach.

“Our team used to go to landfills to collect waste plastics in the past. However, over time, our staff started getting sick and we realised that it was not a very sustainable way and not a healthy way to collect waste plastics. So, we wanted to combat plastic waste at its source,” said Tashi Choden Norbu, business development officer of Green Road.

The idea of collecting eco-bricks from schools was then born. For this, the company has been actively encouraging schools in Thimphu to produce eco-bricks from the plastic waste generated on their premises.

The collected eco-bricks are then transported to the company’s processing plant at Bjemina in Thimphu, where the plastics are segregated and shredded into small pieces.

These shredded pieces are subsequently blended with bitumen, a material used in road construction, to pave the roads at their asphalt plant at Gidakom.

“So far, we have been advocating in schools. After advocacy, we follow up with them. We have found that a few schools are very enthusiastic about this idea and they have been actively collecting and selling their eco-bricks to us. And we even have plans to reward the school with the highest collection of eco-bricks to keep them motivated,” added Tashi Choden Norbu.

The Green Road has recently paved the road to the Buddha Dordenma statue in Thimphu and even repaired a stretch at Olakha using reused plastic waste, which was initially paved by the same company, eight years ago.

Currently collaborating with 13 schools in Thimphu, Green Road aims to expand its reach to all schools across the country.

Although the collection of eco-bricks is interrupted due to the ongoing summer vacation, the company hopes to resume collaborating with schools as they reopen, continuing their fight against plastic waste.

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