Plastic Roads

Sustainability Problem: 

Roads laid with asphalt are unsustainable, brittle and they contribute over 1.6 million tons of carbon dioxide around the world each year.

Solution: Roads made from recycled plastic are stronger, greener and maintenance-free

  • It takes less time to lay than asphalt
  • Durability is likely to be three times higher
  • Plastic is compressed into prefabricated sheets, which are easy to transport and install on site
  • Each sheet is recyclable and replaceable – making it very easy to maintain roads
  • These sheets are light weight and hallow, can suck in water to avoid flooding and allow plumbing and cable installations underneath

Stakeholders: City municipality, road contractors, manufacturers of prefabricated plastic sheets, academia and scientific researchers involved in further evolving this technology

Deployment: This technology is tried and tested in couple of cities mainly in Netherlands, UK and the US

  • Draw experience from the cities where this technology is already adopted
  • City municipality to engage with manufactures of prefabricated sheets and road contractors to understand the feasibility and scale of deployment
  • Start with changing asphalt roads with this technology in parks, local communities before moving to main city roads or highways. This will help in testing the durability, traffic load and also creating awareness

Source: 

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5 thoughts on “Plastic Roads

  1. The roads are made from plastic soda bottles which allows the DOT in Texas so save almost $700,000 in traditional repair. With this model they found a way to save money in repairs and also take plastics out of landfills.

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  2. The article mentions that the roads would be pre-fabricated, which would enable this technology to be used in curved sections. However I’m interested if it would adapt to grade changes easily. It would also be interesting to see how the hollow sections would integrate easily with sewer systems and stormwater drains.

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  3. Plastic Roads, are found to perform better compared to those constructed with conventional bitumen. This means no more stripping and no potholes. Plastic roads will also address the major issue of disposing plastic waste. But as I read more on plastic roads I learnt that the first rain will trigger leaching as plastics will merely form a sticky layer and once laid plastic roads are inert. These problems need to be addressed before implementing plastic roads on large scale.

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