A road made of recycled plastic – SA paving the (eco-friendly) way!
September 18, 2019
Jeffreys Bay is paving the way for a greener South Africa by constructing the first plastic road in the country! It’s good news for the country’s economy, and even better news for the environment and the safety of all road users – Go, Mzansi!
The Kouga Municipality in the Eastern Cape decided to put technology to the test and to use plastic, which usually ends up in the ocean or in landfills, as material for the 1 km recycled plastic road. The recycled plastic is processed into small pellets and manufactured locally. “The result is a road that is stronger and more durable. Water, the main cause of potholes, does not penetrate it as easily as with traditional asphalt mixes and it is also more heat resistant,” says Vicky Knoetze, a member of the Eastern Cape Legislature.
The idea of a plastic road was first proposed by the Kouga Municipality in 2016, with the project officially receiving approval at the start of 2019. MacRebur – which has already tested plastic roads in the United Kingdom and other countries across the globe – will head up the project. They will receive assistance from Port Elizabeth-based civil engineering and construction companies, SP Excel and Scribante Construction.
“With each km of road laid using our products, we use up the equivalent weight of 684,000 bottles or 1.8 million plastic bags. 1 tonne of pellets contains the equivalent of 80,000 plastic bottles”, says non-recyclable waste plastic road manufacturer, MacRebur. Wow! That’s a breakthrough sustainable solution that could save thousands of from ingesting and choking on pieces of plastic.
The plastic road isn’t just a sustainable solution for the removal of plastic waste, but it also costs less to maintain and is more durable compared to traditional road materials. Most of our roads are made from asphalt (bitumen), which needs frequent repairing as it can’t handle heavy rainfall. Melting asphalt also produces lots of harmful greenhouse gases which is bad for the environment and requires expensive petroleum to produce.
Watch this video to see how plastic roads can save the planet:
The construction of South Africa’s first plastic road is an exciting development that could be the first of many sustainable roads in the country. “It will be a triple win for our people – better roads, less pollution and more job opportunities”, says the Democratic Alliance.
It’s something to look forward to – especially for the eco-enthusiasts out there – and will hopefully be completed by mid-October 2019! So, once it’s ready, dare to give it a test drive!
Whether you are planning a road trip to unleash your inner-adventurer (we know you’d like to snap a selfie from the soon-to-be completed ‘road to sustainability’), or even if you are just going about your daily commute to work and back – don’t forget to insure your wheels and prevent the ‘what if’-worries about flat tyres or accidents from pulling the brakes on your mission 😉.
May the (eco-friendly) force be with you!
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