European firms move forward on plastic scrap-to-roads concept
KWS, Wavin and Total sign a cooperation agreement to develop the Plastic Road.
The VolkerWessels subsidiary Netherlands-based KWS, Dutch plastic pipe manufacturer Wavin and France-based petrochemical firm Total S.A. have announced an agreement to develop the Plastic Road, a concept to build roads made from plastic scrap as an alternative to asphalt roads.
The Plastic Road concept, first introduced in 2015 by KWS, entails recycling plastic waste and scrap into lightweight modules with hollow interiors that can be fitted with cables and plastic pipes and allow excess water to drain. The pre-fabricated units will be easy to transport, assemble and maintain, and the lighter weight means the ground will be less prone to subsidence (downward settling), say the three firms.
The concept’s backers say the objective is to create a road with a smaller ecological footprint than traditional road systems. When the roadways reach the end of their life expectancy they can be recycled again, contributing to a circular economy and cleaner environment, say the firms.
“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,” say Anne Koudstaal and Simon Jorritsma, the inventors of Plastic Road. “We expect to have a first prototype completed by year-end 2017.”
KWS Director Rolf Mars, comments, “Wavin and Total believe in the Plastic Road concept and I have every confidence in a constructive and successful collaboration.”
Adds Jan Willem Viets, director of Wavin Nederland, “Being part of the development of Plastic Road fits in the strategy of Wavin to provide innovative plastic solutions for the building industry. This is a great chance to develop a new way of road building together with other market leaders in this business.”
States Xavier Bontemps, senior vice president for Total’s Polymers Business Unit, “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.”
More information on the PlasticRoad concept, including video and images, can be found at www.plasticroad.eu.