The first PlasticRoad in the world comes in Zwolle. The province of Overijssel and the municipality of Zwolle see great potential in the PlasticRoad as a solution for the challenges of the future as it pertains to a circular economy. Both parties are stimulating innovation to give entrepreneurs with sustainable ideas an opportunity for practical realization. By being the first client of these innovative entrepreneurs a new product can be tested for technical and economic feasibility.
The first two pilot projects will be realized in the form of 30 meter long bicycle paths made of hollow prefabricated elements enabling water drainage and laying down of cables and pipes, with the exact final locations still to be decided. The PlasticRoad partners KWS, Wavin and Total have worked extensively on the development and testing of the concept to validate and optimize performance such as the load bearing capacity of the modular elements, the appropriate blends of recycled plastic and the three dimensional design of the road itself. In addition, research focused on the reduced environmental impact has been carried out. The positive results achieved to date support moving forward to make the first pilot projects reality. These pilots mark an important step towards the developing process and success of the PlasticRoad.
Anne Koudstaal and Simon Jorritsma, the inventors of the PlasticRoad and KWS employees explain: "After an extensive period of design, testing and development, we are delighted that the PlasticRoad is becoming a reality. Together with the municipality of Zwolle and the province of Overijssel, we as PlasticRoad partners are taking steps towards a more sustainable world with this first PlasticRoad bike path.”
The PlasticRoad concept consists of a prefabricated, modular and hollow road structure made from (recycled) plastic. The prefabricated production, the light weight and the modular design of the PlasticRoad make construction and maintenance faster, simpler and more efficient compared to traditional road structures.
The PlasticRoad has a hollow space that can be used to (temporarily) store water, thus preventing flooding during extreme precipitation. The hollow space can also be used for the transit of cables and pipes, thus preventing excavation damages. And there are numerous other conceivable applications, including the installation of sensors or the electric charging of vehicles.
The PlasticRoad is a completely circular product that is made from recycled plastic. It has a significantly smaller carbon footprint than traditional road structures thanks to the longer lifespan and the reduction of transport movements involved in its construction.