Recycled Plastic Roadways
Jul 15, 2015
When it comes to the automotive industry, alternative energy is a hot topic that’s been on the forefront of technological advances for years. Electric and hybrid cars have been on the market for a while now, and while sales for these types of vehicles are still not where manufacturers would want them to be, progress continues as car companies continue to make them better and better. The goal is to reduce our carbon footprint and while everyone is focused on automobiles one company in the Netherlands is taking a fresh approach to greener travel.
KWS Infra located in Rotterdam is developing a new kind of road, one made entirely from recycled plastics! The idea is to recycle plastic into a tough aggregate that could be poured and molded into pre-fabricated “bricks” and installed on site quickly. Each segment is constructed to work with the infrastructure with a solid surface on top and hollow section underneath to run pipes, wires, and drainage through it
The plastic road that is currently in development can be created in sections in a lab and then transported to a location for quick assembly. How quick? The company believes this plastic road could be installed in just a couple weeks versus today’s process which takes a few months. With a quicker install time, infrastructures could be repaired and replaced more quickly. This would minimize disruption to traffic flow, reduce commuter angst and bring down overall instillation costs.
The idea of using plastics that are just sitting in landfills is an attractive one to companies and governments and the Netherlands are fully backing the development and ongoing testing. Even with the progress made we are still years away from this plastic road being used on public streets. Further testing is needed to see how the surface responds to non-ideal conditions like rain and snow.
Still, with the progress that has been made, and will continue to be made it’s not hard to envision a future where electric vehicles drive on plastic roads reducing our carbon footprint significantly.