Engineers Introduce Eco-Friendly Roadway Made of Reclaimed Ocean Plastic

posted: 07/22/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
Plastic roadway

An enterprising company has come up with another innovative use for the 5 trillion pieces of plastic that are floating through the world's oceans. Netherlands-based VolkerWessels recently introduced their concept PlasticRoad, which they hope to construct entirely of reclaimed plastic waste.

PlasticRoad lives directly on a bed of sand, which eliminates the need for a construction- and resource-intensive foundation. The road has a hollow interior that can provide easy access to pipes, cables and sewage systems.

Related: This Shoe is Made From Plastic Pollution Floating in the Ocean

The company states that the road can last up to three times longer than conventional asphalt pavement. When the roadway reaches the end of its lifecycle, the material is completely reusable.

"[PlasticRoad] was conceived by looking at the problems that municipalities and we as contractors deal with," the company explains. "This includes societal problems, such as waste, combined with alternative materials for roads, as well as the future shortage of oil, which provides the most important component of asphalt: bitumen."

VolkerWessels is currently working to improve the roadway's friction and reduce the amount of noise generated by the hollow interior. The company is developing a prototype in conjunction with the city of Rotterdam.

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