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Plastic bottles: Road surface of the future?

If this project lives up to its promises, it could solve several problems at once in a sustainable way. In the Netherlands, a new method is currently being developed to surface roads not with asphalt, but rather with recycled plastic bottles.

In July 2015, Dutch construction firm Volker Wessels introduced a pilot project that is to be implemented in Rotterdam over the next three years: a road surface consisting entirely of recycled plastic will test the durability of the material.

The pros: plastic-surfaced roads would be far more durable than existing tar and asphalt streets, thus reducing maintenance work. The new surface is also significantly more heat-resistant, lasts up to three times longer and can be laid faster. Furthermore, the hollow construction would make it easier to lay cable and pipes.

Even better, the traffic delays we know from necessary repair sites would become a thing of the past. The new surfacing components could be prefabricated and laid in situ. This may sound too good to be true, especially as it provide an application for the vast amount of plastic waste in the world. For the most part, the idea still exists only on paper, but the Rotterdam test phase could lead to a breakthrough. We intend to keep a close eye on this project.

Source: The Guardian

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