The Dutch have now created an innovative bicycle path using recycled plastic goods in the northeastern Netherlands, according to New Atlas.
The PlasticRoad concept was created by Anne Koudstaal and Simon Jorritsma from engineering firm KWS. Although the first outline was sketched in 2013, they didn’t move forward until 2016 when KWS partnered with pipe manufacturer Wavin and oil and gas company Total.
The two-lane bike path is 100 feet long and runs between Lindestraat and Verenigingstraat in Zwolle. It is said to contain the equivalent of 218,000 plastic cups or 500,000 plastic bottle caps. Although the collaboration has admitted the path doesn’t use 100 percent recycled plastic, their goal is to eventually use only recycled materials.
The PlasticRoad comes in prefabricated modular blocks that are lightweight and easy to install with space that is premeditated for pipes and cables. The design allows water to drain quickly, with temporary run-off storage under the surface for heavy rainfall.
The designers expect the path to last three times longer than traditional road surfaces, and projects the surface won’t suffer from cracks or potholes. It was also created to be circular, which means the plastic could be recycled at the end of its operational life.
To collect data on the path, sensors have been installed in the area to monitor temperatures, the number of cyclists using PlasticRoad and the durability of the bike path.
The first pilot bike path is now open to cyclists. Data from the pilot will determine if future projects will use PlasticRoad for residential streets, provincial roads or highways.
Filed Under: Materials • advanced