Dutch Dream of LEGO-like Plastic Roads

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July 21, 2015

Imagine driving on a road made of recycled plastic. That could be a reality, if a Dutch project is successful.

KWS Infra, a Netherlands-based company, is embarking on a project to use plastic bags, bottles, and other waste fished out of the sea or dumped in landfills as the main ingredient in new roadways. The idea is to take plastic that would otherwise be burned and put it to a more driver-friendly use.

The main benefit of using plastic, the company says, is that it is kinder to the environment than the normal materials, like asphalt and concrete. As well, a road made out of plastic takes less time to build, the company says.

The plan calls for factories to churn out chunks of roadway not unlike Legos that can be snapped into place and connected via plastic connectors. A piece of roadway that deteriorates can be lifted in its entirety and replaced, cutting down on repair time and costs.

The company said that the roadways could be white, instead of black, and that such a change would result in cooler roads and cities because of a drop in the heat absorbed and re-radiated by existing black roads.

Initial testing will be done in factories, followed by live testing on a Rotterdam harbor district that has volunteered its roadways for a trial.

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