As a socially responsible corporate citizen, Cargills holds a strong commitment to serving the nation and preserving the planet for future generations. By partnering with AGC Innovate Pvt Ltd – one of the country’s leading innovative solutions providers – Cargills initiated the launch of “Paving with Plastic” as a means to address Sri Lanka’s plastic waste menace in an ecofriendly and pragmatic approach.
The benefits of plastic are irrefutable – this versatile material is ubiquitous in our everyday lives, due to it being cheap and convenient to produce as well as being highly durable and user friendly. However, once used and disposed, plastic lingers in the environment for too long and does not decompose.
As a result, the inherent problem of plastic pollution is a global crisis, with Sri Lanka generating approximately 7000 metric tons of mismanaged solid waste daily, with 6% accounting for plastic and polythene waste. Therefore, in the absence of a proper waste management system, non-recyclable plastic is dumped in large landfill sites. These sites are now exceeding their maximum capacity, and has lead to pressing environmental and social concerns in the country.
As a first step to tackling this waste plastic problem, Cargills made a landmark decision to pave the Cargills Food City Carparks using Plastic Modified Asphalt Concrete, partnering with AGC Innovate. A sustainable solution, PMAC harnesses green technology by enhancing conventional asphalt on the polymer level with the use of waste plastic. Furthermore, extensive research has shown that PMAC also improves road strength parameters and durability, when compared against traditional blacktop asphalt concrete. Beginning from waste collection to the laying of the PMAC, this process is a technical achievement and a promising response to plastic pollution in Sri Lanka.
The carpark attached to the Walgama Food City outlet, will be the launchpad of the “Paving with Plastic” initiative, with the final PMAC laying process being undertaken on the 01st of April with approximately 200,000 waste plastic bags being used. Subsequent to this would be the official opening of the Walgama Food City car park, which will take place in the near future.