An agreement to develop plastic roads has been announced by VolkerWessels subsidiary KWS, Dutch manufacturer Wavin and petrochemical firm Total.
KWS said that the concept to build the Plastic Roads solution is a sustainable alternative to traditional asphalt roads.
The company first introduced the concept in 2015. It said that the process involves forming recycled plastic waste into lightweight modules with hollow interiors that can be fitted with cables and plastic pipes, and allow excess water to drain.
It added that the pre-fabricated units would be easy to transport, assemble and maintain, and that the lighter weight meant the ground was less prone to subsidence.
The company said that the objective was to create a road with a smaller ecological footprint than traditional road systems. It explained that when the elements reach their end of life expectancy, they can be recycled again, contributing to a circular economy and cleaner environment.
“Together with Wavin and Total, we now have a vast pool of knowledge, experience and resources, and can take concrete steps in the development of Plastic Road. We expect to have a first prototype completed by year-end 2017,” commented Plastic Road inventors Anne Koudstaal and Simon Jorritsma.
Total senior vice president for its polymers business unit Xavier Bontemps added: “We are delighted to be working on this promising flagship project and to share our expertise in polymer solutions and recycling processes. This agreement is aligned with our commitment to using renewable and recycled sources and reducing the carbon footprint for the markets we serve.”