Plastic a possible solution for improving roads

2017-08-18 07:20


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Port Elizabeth - Imagine a road without potholes and where they don't deteriorate within months of being built. Then think of a province without any plastic waste, where jobs can be created by using plastic to replace tar in public roads.

That's how Vicky Knoetze, DA MEC for Roads and Public Works, introduced her motion in the Eastern Cape legislature to investigate the possibility of using plastic for roads, Netwerk24 reported.

She said the Eastern Cape could be the first province in the country to launch a project such as that.

"The idea of roads made from plastic emerged because of the problems countries, municipalities and provinces are experiencing with roads.  

"That includes deterioration, high costs, as well as problems with plastic waste, consolidation of land and an ever-increasing demand for transport. The solution is to replace tar with plastic.

"There are more than 40 million kilometres of road in the world for which hundreds of thousands of drums of tar were used. Plastic waste could replace a lot of this. Plastic waste includes normal household as well as commercial waste, most of which end up in our oceans," Knoetze said.  

According to her, it would make construction and maintenance quicker, easier and more effective in comparison to conventional roads, while it could last up to three times longer than normal tarred roads.

"The construction is up to 70% faster and costs could be cut by up to 50%. It is environmentally friendly and needs little maintenance," Knoetze said.

A company in the Netherlands claims such plastic roads will be able to withstand temperatures of between -40°C and 80°C.

"Another of the benefits is job creation, as thousands of people will be needed to sort the plastic for reuse in the road projects."

Knoetze added that most of the roads were reaching the end of their lifespan. 

Read more on:    port elizabeth  |  service delivery  |  transport

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