Plastic Roads May Pave the Way to a Brighter Future

The smell of freshly paved asphalt while driving along highways could soon be a thing of the past. Innovators believe that plastic roads could be the solution to all of the road paving woes that have made highways so difficult to construct over the years. Creating asphalt takes a lot of time, and is usually very expensive, not to mention the environmental cost that it takes to pave massive stretches of roadways.

How can flimsy Plastic Road possibly replace something strong like pavement?

Plastic Roads May Pave the Way to a Bright Future - Clapway

At first, the notion seems preposterous. How could we take something durable like cement and concrete, and use something as insubstantial as plastic? The plastic that they hope to use is a little more complex and durable than the plastic that pens or cups are composed of. In fact, according to VolkerWessels, the company behind this innovative new plastic road idea, the road would not only be more durable than asphalt it would require less maintenance.

It would also be be easier to assemble, and the hollow spaces underneath the plastic road would allow for pipes and cables to easily pass beneath the most crowded interstates, “PlasticRoad features numerous advantages compared to conventional roads, both in terms of construction and maintenance. Plastic is much more sustainable and opens the door for a number of new innovations such as power generation, quiet road surfaces, heated roads and modular construction.” Experts’ earliest estimates about the lifespan of plastic roads will triple from the current asphalt based roadways.

The inventors behind the idea of plastic roads

The conjunction of VolkerWessels, and KWS infra — the renowned road construction company that has paved most of the roads in the Netherlands since 1901 — have come together in order to make this project a reality. The creators behind the concept are inventors Anne Koudstaal and Simon Jorritsma, who dream of a more efficient and environmentally conscious way to build roads in this modern era.

Can something like this seriously be implemented on a broad scope?

Not only is it possible to construct these plastic roads on a large scale, it is almost irresponsible NOT to do so when considering its environmental benefits. The new streets would be made of a 100% recycled material, whereas asphalt currently is made up of mostly non-renewable resources, making the construction of major roadways extremely taxing on the environment. Plastic streets may someday pave the way to a greener future. A future where roads are easier to construct, cheaper to produce, and last longer.


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