The first PlasticRoad bike path is 30 meters long and is located next to Deventerstraatweg between Lindestraat and Verenigingstraat in Zwolle, the Netherlands. The 30 meters of plastic bike path contain recycled plastic equivalent to more than 218.000 plastic cups or 500.000 plastic bottle caps. The pilot location is equipped with sensors to monitor the road’s performance – including temperature, the number of bike passages and the durability of the road. With these sensors, this PlasticRoad is the first smart bike path in the world.
Inventors of the PlasticRoad Anne Koudstaal and Simon Jorritsma: “This first pilot is a big step towards a sustainable and future-proof road made of recycled plastic waste. When we invented the concept, we didn’t know how to build a PlasticRoad, now we know.”
The PlasticRoad creates a high-value second life for plastic waste by recycling it and using it to build roads. In this way, the companies want to create a durable outlet for the excess of plastic waste of today. The PlasticRoad pilot in Zwolle is circular and made with a significant amount of recycled plastic. The end goal is to use 100% recycled plastic.
In addition to a possible solution for waste plastic, the PlasticRoad is a way to build roads faster, with less impact on the surroundings and with less CO₂ emissions. The prefab, modular elements make this possible. The hollow construction offers a solution for improved water drainage in the case of heavy rain fall.
The province of Overijssel and the municipality of Zwolle see a great potential in the PlasticRoad as a solution for future challenges and ambitions. Consequently, they chose to team up to be the first customers for the first two pilots. By being the first customers, they hope to pave the way for this innovation to be brought into practice and tested for economic and technical feasibility. Both parties encourage entrepreneurs with innovative and sustainable ideas. With this project, both governmental parties are working towards a circular economy and a sustainable public space for the future.