An innovative plan
When the Dutch company presented their plan, they explained that they not only estimated that they would reduce the amount of plastic waste to destroy, but that they would also achieve a significant decrease in CO2 production, both in construction and in the use of roads, which will be more sustainable and safe.
An estimated eight million tonnes of plastic are adrift in the oceans and 55% of our plastic waste is still incinerated. Dutch companies have looked for viable and innovative ways in order to remove plastic from the sea and give it a green and sustainable job.
KWS Infra, part of the VolkerWessels group (the largest road builder in the Netherlands) was the organization that came up with this amazing plan to turn recovered plastic waste into the roads of the future.
PlasticRoad: plastic roads
The main idea is based on the fact that each road sector would be built by prefabricated sections in specialized plants and the raw material used would be 100% recycled plastic. Once finished, they would be placed in their final place and the road would be enabled for circulation.
As they are light and easy to transport elements, construction times are expected to be very short, just a few months. It is estimated that such coverage will be much more durable than asphalt and will need little or no maintenance, being resistant to the elements, waterproof and impossible to be perforated by vegetation.
The other great advantage is that they are hollow, so they allow space for pipes, electrical cables and especially for Internet connections, a very important issue for the company.
Internet VolkerWessels is investing in various urban renewal and innovation projects with a view to creating Smartcityes, including the placement of Internet receivers along roads, either on antennas and masts and embedded in street lights and wind power generation turbines.
If the interior space of the roof could be used to house connectors, losing reception capacity when entering a tunnel would be a thing of the past. Having a seamless connection is a priority for the VolkerWessels group.
The company already has the support of the city council of the city of Rotterdam, which was the first to show interest in the implementation of the PlasticRoads in the municipality and is where the first tests are being carried out.
Recycled recyclable and carbon footprint
Another of the great advantages of this type of road is that in addition to being manufactured with waste, they are also recyclable, making it the ideal complement for those communities that opt for the Circular Economy.
Despite being one of the smallest countries in the world, the Netherlands has one of the highest carbon footprints per capita in the world. This is especially due to the high dependence on fossil fuel consumption.
It is expected that the new plastic routes will achieve a very significant decrease in said footprint, considering that the country's road network covers approximately 135,470 kilometers and most of them are paved.
Russia is "contagious"
According to a report recently published in the Pravda newspaper, Alexander Starovoytov, a deputy of the Russian State Duma of the LDPR faction, has appealed to the Federal Agency of the Russian Federation of Roads, to study the Dutch pilot project of construction of roads from recycled plastic materials.
Russians are enthusiastic about the idea of this type of road, especially because it would be a more sustainable way to cover the millions of kilometers of roads in the country, with a product that would allow them to put their plastic waste to use, which requires almost no maintenance. , it is not affected by corrosion and something very important for them: it resists very extreme temperatures and lasts almost 3 times longer than asphalt.
According to the Pravda article, Russian experts are following the tests that are being carried out in the Netherlands with great expectation, in order to estimate how applicable, costly and feasible this initiative could be, if it were applied in the great Eurasian country.
But not only the Russians consider this option, since, although they have not revealed names, the directors of the VolkerWessels group acknowledge that they have requests from several nations, which are keenly interested in the progress of the Dutch project.
Although roads will not be a reality until 2018, since the announcement, interest in this type of route and its innovative recycling system has been aroused around the world and it is expected to close alliances with other cities that want to implement similar initiatives .