Letting entrepreneurs grow

We may not have solutions to high-tech garbage, but finally it seems like we have found one to our solid waste disposal problem, especially plastic, that is increasing with improving purchasing power.

The initiative of using plastic waste to black top roads, which was tried out on Monday is a welcome initiative. If it is in line with the development policy of the country, it is going to get rid of a lot of non-biodegradable waste in the capital city and beyond.

The technology using plastic, if true as claimed, will make our roads stronger or more durable. Durable roads are what we need today. From experience, nobody will argue that our roads are poorly built. In many places newly blacktopped roads start developing potholes within within months. Either the quality is compromised or the materials used are not the right one. While it is too early to jump the gun, the new technology sounds promising.

There are many benefits. Besides durable roads that are water resistant, the technology using plastic waste will help the country get rid of a problem that has literally choked us. If the initiative succeeds, it will not be long before people collect plastic waste instead of throwing it.

Today, the company, The Green Road is collecting waste from the landfills. Soon, people should bring it to them. We will see dealers who will collect and sell it to them. It is quite a change if we can see people clearing our choked drains to get money from waste. Plastic used in making bitumen is only 10 percent, but that is huge enough to consume all the plastic waste we generate.

The technology is not new, which if it succeeds, would be a blow to planners and engineers involved in building and maintaining our roads. All it took to start a green technology was the idea of a young graduate who believed in his passion and perhaps the prospects of the technology.

The initiative should receive our support. That way we are recognising aspiring entrepreneurs in the country. To an average Bhutanese starting a business means opening a shop and selling exactly the same thing thousands of others do. There are only a handful of real entrepreneurs with ideas that is relevant and with prospects of good returns. Most copy from each other and in the process kill each other.

Recognising entrepreneurs will let them grow and therefore the private sector, where the government is asking jobseekers to look for jobs. Bhutanese might not invent rocket science, but the little innovations they bring should be supported. We had our own people who designed churners, winnowers, ploughs and even alarm systems to scare predators. We have not heard much after they launched it.

This week we saw two more, the green road technology and vegetable dryers. The two look viable. We will encourage more if the efforts are recognised and supported.

1 reply
  1. irfan
    irfan says:

    Problem with plastics is that enemy of a word ‘non-biodegradable’. For my layman’s understanding; even if they remain dumped and buried under earth for millennia, we are not looking at them turning into an end product like bitumen.

    I am so pleased to hear entrepreneurs coming with new green technologies where these wastes can be mixed with bitumen in road construction. Use of bitumen in road construction itself was a discovery of its time. If they are finding ways to deal with plastics with thickness more than 60 microns or something like PVC sheets, it will be considered a technological gift to the environment. But not very sure about whether to use this technology for urban roads or rural roads. Some prefer the rural roads for durability. Problems with plastic bags is that those with lesser than 60 microns of thickness are not always durable and burning them is no environment friendly solution.

    The vegetable drier is innovative and I hope that something like this can be used even for drying fruits like bananas. If innovations like this can be integrated into a processing technology, probably results will be a lot more fruitful. Good to hear that the entrepreneur is considering changes for drying spices like cardamom, but even oils extracted from different spices have its market.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply