Asphalt or Plastic Roadways?

by Jonathan Locke on November 9, 2015

Coming from Oklahoma, I know bad roads. Our largely expansive soils and icy winters cause our asphalt pavements to look like swiss cheese. Driving a moped is out of the question. All around the country our roads are in major need of repair and very little has been done to increase the lifespan or decrease the cost of production and installation.


Rotterdam may soon be the first city in the world to utilize recycled plastic for roadway production. The recycled plastic will be taken from the billions of tons of floating trash in our ocean. The road will be produced in hollow panels that snap together, therefore being easy to replace, store and access utilities below and even move to better locations during floods or other natural disasters.


Along with using already existing resources and cleaning up the ocean, eliminating asphalt production would rid the earth of 1.6 million tons of CO2 per year, which accounts for 2% of all transportation emissions. The lighter weight of the material would save on transportation costs and is expected to have far less maintenance than asphalt pavements. Look for the first plastic roadways to be in place within the next few years.


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