The Netherlands could be the first country to substitute asphalt for plastic roads made from recycled material.
A company in the Netherlands is paving the way – literally – to a more sustainable world by replacing asphalt and concrete roads with pre-fabricated recycled plastic tiles. Created by KWS Infra, the “PlasticRoad” material would not only benefit the environment, it would reduce plastic waste headed for landfills.
That means the trash you intend to recycle could actually become the ground you speed over while running errands in your car.
In addition, the “PlasticRoad” would cut carbon emissions from the alternative oil-based asphalt.
NBC News shares that the materials could last as much as three times longer than conventional pavement and withstand temperatures ranging from -40 to 176 degrees Fahrenheit.
The roads would be constructed from different forms of plastic waste, such as recycled water and soft drink bottles, as well as the enormous amount of plastic swirling around in the oceans.
Prefabricated sections would be constructed at a factory then hauled to a construction site and snapped together like Lego blocks. The construction and engineering company notes that “PlasticRoad” would also be easier to repair, as damaged sections could easily be pulled out and replaced with new ones – just like building blocks.
At present, the city of Rotterdam, Netherlands, is taking the idea very seriously. It plans to test it in a “street lab” demonstration sometime within the next three years to see how well the plastic road materials work.
If all is successful, this could be the innovative asphalt alternative researchers have been working to develop to replace conventional, paved roads.
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