It is well known that the Dutch engineers and designers have made a name for themselves in recent years through their innovative ideas, like the self-healing concrete to the famous solar bike path, their designs and creations always provide us with a unique combination of ingenuity and eco-friendliness. The latest from the Dutch construction company Volker Wessels can really be a game changer, they want to pave the roads with recycled plastic bottles instead of asphalt. If everything will go acording to plan, the Dutch city of Rotterdam could be the first to use the Plastic Road project and this can happen within a very reasonable time of three years.
Considering how harmful asphalt is to the environment, it is a very good idea to replace it with a more ” green ” alternative, Just to give you some numbers: Every ton of produced asphalt emits 27 kilograms of CO2 into the atmosphere, this makes the total of 1.45 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide in a single year! Asphalt is also one of the main reasons to cause urban heat islands effects because it can absorb and retain heat. Add to this the critical problem with tons of plastic trash that is already overloading our world and you can see the problem here clearly.
So, using recycled plastic instead of asphalt to pave roads sounds like a great idea that can help lessen the environmental footprint. But wait, there’s more! The new Platic Roads will also be much more durable and, as a result reduce road maintenance costs, according to VolkerWessels, The new road can withstand a great range of temperatures of between -40C and 80C, also the plastic roads will be light and hollow so you can easily place pipes and cables as necessary.
Another valid point is that the road construction would become much faster and less costly, instead of closing the road and hiring numerous staff to work long hours, you would just manufacture sections of the recycled plastic surface in a factory and then transported to the site. Sounds easy enough, right?
At the moment, this project is still on paper, but the company is very optimistic about the future prospects. Rolf Mars of VolkerWessels said the plastic roads could have great potential for becoming a platform for the introduction of some other innovations such as the heated roads or ultra-quiet surfaces. Rotterdam is famous for supporting similar initiatives so the city officials have already shown their interest in the implementation of the PlasticRoad project