Considering how the alarming levels of plastics are polluting the oceans, it is always a breath of fresh air when inventors come up with innovative ways to recycle these wastes.
It looks like a company from Netherlands have just created a wonderful project that will benefit many – recycled plastic roads that snap like Legos.
Alex van de Wall, KWS Infra’s innovation manager, explains that “The concept is based on the use of all kinds of waste plastic, but mainly the part of the waste stream that doesn’t already have ‘high end’ recycling applications and would ordinarily be burned.” This means hard-to-recycle plastic scraps will find new life and practical use.
“Once we have the concept translated into actual product, there are many options,” said van de Wall about the roads which aim to address several problems.
According to the company, plastic roads stronger than asphalt and can greatly simplify the construction process. Building roads will only take weeks instead of months since the pieces can be snapped, much like those tiny toy bricks. Also, the modular pieces are quicker and less expensive to repair and when they’re worn out? They can even be recycled into new plastic roads.
On top of that, these roads can have a white color instead of black – which can help reduce heat in cities. “Color, but also auxiliary functionalities such as navigation systems for vehicles, energy storage, and noise reduction.”
Although the company anticipates encountering problems along the way, they remain optimistic that “every practical challenge can be met.”
Van de Wall’s team hopes to find partners in the plastic and recycling industries to support their project. They hope to start testing the concept soon and then once finalized, market it abroad as well. “If all goes well, there is no reason why the concept could not be exported,” hopes van de Wall.