The Road of the Future Might Be Made From Plastic Trash

The Pacific Garbage Patch and landfills around the globe are overflowing with plastic waste, and you can circle the earth at the equator at least four times with all the soda and water bottles thrown away every year. But if an experiment from a Netherlands-based company proves successful, there could be a new use for all that plastic trash: road construction.

The company, VolkerWessels, is working with government officials in Rotterdam on PlasticRoad, a project it hopes will result in the construction of streets from the recycled material. “Plastic offers all kinds of advantages compared to current road construction," Rolf Mars, director of VolkerWessels’ roads subdivision, told The Guardian.

So, Why Should You Care? Along with providing a non-landfill use for plastic trash, VolkerWessels’ idea is a greener alternative to streets made with asphalt. Asphalt roads create the notorious urban heat island effect—they absorb the sun’s heat and then radiate it back into the surrounding air. Globally, asphalt also generates 1.6 million tons of CO2 per year, or 2 percent of all emissions, reported The Guardian. According to VolkerWessels, those problems disappear when a road is constructed from recycled plastic.

The PlasticRoad can also withstand temperature extremes—well above 100 degrees and below zero—and is more resistant to corrosion than traditional road-building materials. If you doubt the material can be that tough, remember that we're lucky if a plastic water bottle breaks down in a landfill within 450 years.

Read the entire article at