When it comes to roadways, Bhutan might be a late-starter, but now the rest of the world is playing catch-up. Since 2015, the tiny South Asian nation has been recycling its plastic by using it to blacktop the country's roads. It's an impressive feat, especially considering that Bhutan didn't even have paved roads until 1962. The so-called Green Road project combines plastic waste with bitumen to build eco-friendly roads, according to entrepreneur Rikesh Gurung, who helped initiate the effort. Gurung said the roadwork will make use of all of the nation's plastic waste. "Recycling plastic waste and not burning (it) is the correct approach to protect the environment,” Gurung said. Not only will the project find a new use for old plastic, it also will create roads that require less maintenance, Gurung said. Typically, roads in the mountainous country face some severe weather and require yearly work, but Gurung said it will take at least five years for the plastic-based roads to need improvements.
- Depending on the season, tourists must pay between $200 and $250 USD a day to visit Bhutan.
- Bhutan is governed by the philosophy of "Gross National Happiness"; it utilizes an index to determine the collective well-being of its population.
- Approximately one-third of Bhutan's population is under age 14, and its median age is 22.3.