Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, is considering piloting a technology that would pave its streets with a plastic bottle-based road surface touted by its creators as a greener alternative to asphalt.
Construction firm VolkerWessels has unveiled plans for a road surface made entirely from recycled plastic, and structured around a hollow system to make it easier to install cables and utility pipelines.
The system could also be put down in weeks not months by using prefabricated sections and thereby reducing on-site construction, while the material would last about three times as long as asphalt.
Notably, the plastic surfaces would be able to withstand temperatures extremes from -40° to 176°, and would simultaneously mitigating the CO2 emissions of asphalt, which in the Netherlands accounts for two percent of all road transport emissions, or 1.6 million tons.
“Plastic offers all kinds of advantages compared to current road construction, both in laying the roads and maintenance,” Rolf Mars, director of VolkerWessels roads division, KWS Infra, told the Guardian.
“It’s still an idea on paper at the moment, but Rotterdam is a very innovative city and has embraced the idea. It fits very well within its sustainability policy and it has said it is keen to work on a pilot.”