PlasticRoad would turn water bottles into long lasting roads

KWS Infra Will Test Plastic Roads In Rotterdam

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The roads of the Dutch city Rotterdam might not be paved in gold anytime soon, but they could be covered in a far more environmentally friendly substance one day in the near future – recycled plastic. The concept comes from KWS Infra, a part of the Dutch group of construction and engineering companies VolkerWessels, and is called simply the PlasticRoad. Made from discarded materials like water bottles, its maker claims this could be a major environmental innovation.

According to KWS Infra, the PlasticRoad could last three times longer than traditional street surfaces and withstand temperatures between -40 and 176 degrees Fahrenheit. Each section would be pre-fabricated and then hauled to a site for assembly. The company claims that this strategy reduces construction times to just a few weeks, rather than months by regular means. Each segment is constructed to work with the infrastructure with a solid surface on top and hollow section underneath to run pipes, wires, and drainage through it.

The city government in Rotterdam is already quite keen on installing PlasticRoad in its street lab to test the new technology, according to The Guardian. However, don't book a ticket to the Netherlands to check things out for yourself just yet. PlasticRoad is still at least three years away from being ready for production.

Admittedly, the concept of creating roads from recyclable materials that are just wasting away in landfills or in the ocean is incredibly attractive. PlasticRoad still raises some major questions about real-world use, though. According to The Guardian, KWS Infra is still evaluating how the surface handles slippery conditions. Also, with the pipes sandwiched into the street, when the time comes to replace or repair the various sections, things could get difficult.

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