U.K. Testing Roads Made from Recycled Plastics
Transportation is innovating more quickly than it has in a long time thanks to cleaner powertrains and autonomous driving technology, but our roads have yet to keep up with the pace. Now, a startup company is beginning to change that reality by bringing sustainable roads to certain parts of the U.K.
There are 24.8 million miles of roads in the world today. Traditionally, they consist of limestone, rocks, and sand that are bound together with the help of bitumen, a component extracted from crude oil and sold by the likes of Shell and Total. Enter MacRebur, which has developed plastic pellets that can replace much of the bitumen in an asphalt mix.
The material, dubbed MR6, is made with 100-percent recycled materials and can reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfills. Not only is it considered a greener alternative, but it’s also 60 percent stronger and last 10 times longer than standard asphalt. It’s more resistant to cracks and potholes and is cheaper than traditional solutions, the company says.
The special roads can now be found in parts of Cumbria in the U.K., reports Inhabitat. A new “plastic” road was recently added in Gloucester, England.
MacRebur isn’t the first company to experiment with more sustainable roads. Back in 2015, a road construction firm in the Netherlands revealed a PlasticRoad prototype.
Watch the video below from BBC News to see how it all works.