Waste plastic in concrete could support sustainable construction in India
Research at the University of Bath has shown waste plastic to be a viable partial replacement for sand in structural concrete, providing one possible solution for future sustainable construction whilst addressing sand shortages in India.
The Bath-led research—in partnership with colleagues from Goa Engineering College, India – has shown how replacing 10 per cent of sand in concrete with waste plastic may help to reduce the vast amounts of plastic waste on India’s streets, and deal with a national sand shortage.
The research demonstrates how the team investigated various different types of plastic to see if they could be crushed and used as a replacement for sand, which typically accounts for 30 percent of a concrete mixture.
The project showed that replacing sand with similarly sized and shaped waste plastic particles from ground up plastic bottles, resulted in concrete which was almost as strong as conventional concrete mixtures. By replacing 10 per cent of sand in concrete, it is calculated this approach could save 820 million tonnes of sand a year, and help reduce levels of plastic waste.