- Dutch construction company VolkerWessels is teaming up with the city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands to use recycled ocean plastic to build roadways. The prototypes are currently being built in a "street lab."
- Aside from utilizing recycled materials, the new streets have many benefits including a quicker installation period, less maintenance, and significantly less CO2 emissions. Currently, asphalt is responsible for 1.6 million tons of CO2 emissions globally each year, according to The Guardian.
- Although the prototypes are far from being manufactured, VolkerWessels hopes to install the first plastic roadway in Rotterdam within three years.
Industry leaders are consistently facing many challenges when deciding how to best recycle plastics — especially those washed up as ocean debris. By recycling such plastics into pre-fabricated, installable road "bricks," VolkerWessels is saving the environment, as well as making significant strides in engineering innovation.
“It’s still an idea on paper at the moment; the next stage is to build it and test it in a laboratory to make sure it’s safe in wet and slippery conditions and so on. We’re looking for partners who want to collaborate on a pilot – as well as manufacturers in the plastics industry, we’re thinking of the recycling sector, universities and other knowledge institutions," said Jaap Peters from Rotterdam's City Council Engineering Bureau.