Plastic roads from recycled bottles rolled out in Europe

Lego-style roads built with pre-fabricated plastic panels have been rolled out in Holland with some big promises.

Plastic roads promising more strength, easier repairs, better drainage and improved access for service cabling have been created by a Danish construction company.

The panels for the PlasticRoad system are created from waste plastics, including drink bottles, in a project started in 2015 by the VolkerWessels construction company.

It has been installing PlasticRoad panels since 2018 for use as minor roads, cycle paths, railway access and car parks, however for now the technology is only used in light-duty applications rather than major roadways.

“VolkerWessels’ subsidiary KWS is hard at work creating the next generation of roads: PlasticRoad,” the Dutch company said on its website.

“Not only is its modular design lightweight, quicker to install and more durable, PlasticRoad also provides a solution to a global environmental problem: the growing mountain of plastic waste.

“The modular design of PlasticRoad drastically cuts maintenance time and its lifespan is three times longer than that of conventional roads, massively reducing diversions due to roadworks.

“In addition the prefabricated road parts are ready to use as soon as they are installed: plug-and-play. Building roads as you would with Lego.”

The pre-formed plastic panels are created with large internal cavities, for improved drainage and service cabling, but also with internal ribbing to provide the strength needed to support people and vehicles.

Apart from the plastic recycling, VolkerWessels also claims an 85 per cent reduction in emissions for the installation of PlasticRoad, compared with conventional bitumen or concrete roads.

Drive has contacted VolkerWessels for more information on PlasticRoad, and its potential introduction in Australia, but we are yet to receive a reply.

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