Volker Wessels

Construction Company Plans To Pave Roads With Recycled Plastic

In recent years there has been a rise in the creation of plastic roads, which supposedly offer a superior and greener alternative to tarmac — with a few companies making large strides in the area.

The idea of implementing plastic roads is rapidly growing.


Companies across the globe have begun taking the idea of plastic roads seriously over the last few years, as research has revealed that using plastic roads could be a more sustainable and green alternative to current road-building practices.

KWS is one such company looking into this area.


KWS is a subsidiary of Dutch construction company VolkerWessels, who previously asserted that plastic roads could last three times longer than conventional roads!

The company initially launched the project back in 2015, and since then they have been trying out their plastic roads in the real world.

The company's "PlasticRoad", as they helpfully called it, is made from recycled plastics.


The PlasticRoad website boasts some of the features, such as the expected service life of the PlasticRoad being 2 to 3 times longer than that of a traditional road pavement, cutting construction time for a new road to be built down by 70%, and the roads themselves being 4x lighter which would cut down on travel costs.

They also write that "The PlasticRoad is 100% recyclable and is produced with recycled plastic as much as possible."

The roads clip together like Lego bricks.


This means that they are incredibly easy and fast to assemble, which would cut down the amount of time that roadworks would be disrupting your day. The company has also attested to the fact that, though the roads are lighter, they are incredibly durable.

The sheets are also hollow which can prevent flooding.


In the event of severe rainfall, the roads can absorb water to reduce flooding. Also, due to them being hollow, they can allow for plumbing and cable wires to be installed through them.

The roads have been tried in the Netherlands.


They have already opened one cycle lane made of PlasticRoad, and are currently working on their second location, also in the Netherlands. On their website, they wrote of how the PlasticRoads could lower plastic waste:

"350 billion kilos of plastic are used worldwide every year. The majority of the plastic waste is still dumped or incinerated. In Europe, all plastic applications together contain only 7% recycled plastic. The PlasticRoad gives plastic waste a high-quality second life by recycling it and applying it in a road. In doing so, the companies want to contribute to the surplus of plastic waste that is currently available. The PlasticRoad pilot in Zwolle is circular and recycled plastic has been used. The ultimate goal is for the PlasticRoad to consist of 100% recycled plastic."

Use of plastics in road construction has also been implemented in other areas of the world.

Facebook | MacRebur

Road construction firm MacRebur uses waste plastics in the road building process instead of "us[ing] crude oil to make bitumen which binds the rocks, limestone, and sand. This new process replaces some of that oil with plastic," according to the BBC.

By implementing this process, the company seeks to reduce the amount of waste plastics being abandoned in landfills.

MacRebur also claims that plastic roads are more durable.

Facebook | MacRebur

On their website, MacRebur claims that plastic roads are more durable and less likely to develop potholes due to "the flexible properties of plastic" which they say can also respond better to changes in temperature which leads to potholes forming.

Hopefully, this technology will continue to grow!


While it is important to think of ways that we can reuse the amounts of plastics that are currently dominating landfills and oceans across the world, it is also important to realise that we drastically need to reduce the amount of plastics we use in our day to day life. While these are good solutions to help reuse our current plastics problem, we need to also be producing less plastic waste in general.

h/t: Digital Journal