Unrecyclable Plastic Used To Make Roads With Impressive Results

University of California

What can you do with unrecyclable waste? Back then, these would just pile up in dump sites and left there to sit for centuries at a time. This has been an issue since years back and environmentalists have been looking for ways to reuse these items to do good.

Several solutions have been reached, and ideas have been thrown. The goal here was to save the environment from unrecyclable wastes and to find ways to use them. Many have discovered that these can actually be better alternatives to traditional methods.

Dangerous and toxic plastic waste like printer cartridges and plastic bags can actually be useful once again. These are being turned into aggregate material made for asphalt road mixtures to be used all over the United States.

Plastic roads have been laid down and this have been the fulfilment of a scientific steam. Scientists and regulators are now starting to see roads as a viable place to reuse plastic. These are often the type that are hard to recycle when you think about methods of saving costs.

Pilot programs have been underway in states such as Missouri, Pennsylvania, Virginia, California, and Hawai’i. While happening, transportation regulators have been making sure to monitor the performance and durability of the roads. Environmental regulators are on the lookout as well for them to see if there could be possible microplastic contamination.

Basically, plastic roads have the possibility to play a large role in future societies. That’s because programs that have tested these out all reaped impressive results. As for now as well, they have not seen or witnessed microplastic pollutant runoffs in the states that these have been tested on.

Last year, GNN reported about a stretch of Australian highway. The road was completed with the use of millions of recycled or old facemasks. There was also another road in America that has resorted to adding shredded tires on the roads.

stretch of road in Hawai’i that’s found between Kilaha Street and the beginning of Fort Weaver Road near Cormorant Avenue has been experimenting on a recycled polymer mixture in its asphalt. This mixture has the equivalent of 150,000 used water bottles.

As for the state of Virginia, the officials have been testing out the plastic in six different stretches of roads found around Richmond. The results were then monitored. They kept watch during summer of 2021 and summer of 2022. As for Pennsylvania, they are also testing two quarter-mile road stretches that are found within Ridley Creek State Park. The said stretches used a mixture that has a total of 150,000 plastic bags.

There’s also a shoulder of Highway 99 that’s located in Elk Grove near Sacramento, California. The road is being paved with an asphalt mixture that has 10 percent recycled plastic, and these came from discarded printing ink cartridges. After the experts have observed and saw that the road was performing better than what they thought, a spokesperson for the CA DoT talked to the people from Pew Trust said that they have expanded its coverage because they want to test it out further.

As for this year’s $3.8 million budget, this has also been set aside to pave roads in Missouri. They also added $200,000 to use plastic found in the asphalt mixtures.


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