For all the reasons we should be eliminating plastic from our lives, future road construction might not be one of them.
Dutch construction firm VolkerWessels recently announced a project aptly called PlasticRoad, which would be the world’s most sustainable alternative to conventional road structures. According to the release, PlasticRoad would consist of a lightweight design with a fraction of the construction time. It’ll be virtually maintenance free, with three times the expected lifespan. A ‘hollow’ space that can be used for cables, pipes, and rainwater.
Consisting of 100% recycled material, the plastic used in the road’s construction will be salvaged from oceans – an incredibly important endeavour – and incineration plants. Once it wears out, it can be re-recycled and re-used for a new road. It has the potential to last up to 50 years, which is three times as long as the lifespan of asphalt.
The Dutch city of Rotterdam has already made plans to implement PlasticRoad in a pilot location, which will take around three years to complete.
Pending its success, it could also be considered as a viable alternative to asphalt roads here in Canada. PlasticRoad is capable to enduring temperatures as low as -40 degrees and as high as 80 degrees Celsius.
We eagerly await a future without the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.