The world’s first bicycle path from recycled plastic

The province of Overijssel in the Netherlands will get the world’s first, and second, PlasticRoad, a road made from recycled plastic, in the form of two bicycle paths in September this year.

The PlasticRoad is an initiative of road construction company KWS in collaboration with Wavin, a Dutch manufacturer of plastic pipes, and Total, a French multinational integrated oil and gas company, that started in 2016. The idea is to make prefab road sections of 100 per cent recycled plastic, with a hollow structure to leave room for cables, piling, and water. KWS says that plastic roads are more durable than asphalt, can withstand greater temperature extremes and can be laid much quicker than asphalt. Read more about the road here.

Since the conception, the partnership has been working on testing the road, such as its loadbearing capascity, the right mix of recycled plastic, and the optimum design of the hollow space inside the road elements. They aslo researched the envinmental impact of the road. Currently, the results are deemed positive enough to start a pilot project.

The city of Zwolle in the province of Overijssel is the first to get a PlasticRoad, in the form of a bicycle path. The road will be constructed in September this year with a length of about 30 metres to test the road in practice. The second bicycle path will be placed a few months later somewhere else in Overijssel. The exact locations are unknown as of yet.

The plastic road is one of several projects looking for more sustainable alternatives for ordinary asphalt. Click here for other projects.

Images: PlasticRoad