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7/22/15

Netherlands Company Introduces Plastic Roads That Are More Durable, Climate Friendly Than Asphalt - by Katie Valentine

The Netherlands is already home to the world’s first solar road (or bike lane, technically). Now, the country could soon be the first to use recycled plastic as pavement.

The idea for plastic roads comes from VolkerWessels, a Netherlands-based construction firm. According to the company, plastic roads would be a “virtually maintenance free product” that’s “unaffected by corrosion and the weather.” The roads could handle temperatures as low as -40°F and as high as 176°F.

The company says that this hardiness will make the roads’ lifespans three times as long as typical asphalt roads.

According to the company, any type of recycled plastic can be used. The main goal, the company says, is to keep plastic out of the oceans.

The idea for plastic roads came after the company took a look at all the different road-related problems cities face, said Simon Jorritsma from InfraLinq, a subdivision of VolkerWessels and KWS Infra that works specifically with asphalt. Those problems included a future where oil — the main component of asphalt — is less available, as well as more immediate problems like flooding and road maintenance.

“For contractors, asphalt is a great and sound product to build roads,” Jorritsma said in an email to ThinkProgress. “However, contractors have to meet more and more demands concerning noise reduction, water permeability, and flatness. These questions and conditions were the inspiration which have led to the idea of the PlasticRoad.”

Read more: Netherlands Company Introduces Plastic Roads That Are More Durable, Climate Friendly Than Asphalt | ThinkProgress

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