A Scottish firm MacRebur in partnership with local civil engineering and construction companies SP Excel and Scribante Construction are planning to construct first plastic road in South Africa, Kouga municipality mayor Horatio Hendricks said Monday.
The project is the brainchild of Vicky Knoetze who says that up to 1.8 million plastic bags could be used to build a 1km stretch of road.
“Non-recyclable plastic waste, which ends up in the ocean or clogging up landfill sites, is processed into pellets and used to replace a large component of the bitumen in a conventional asphalt mix,” said Knoetze.
“The result is a road that is stronger and more durable. Water, the main cause of potholes, does not penetrate it as easily as with traditional asphalt mixes and it is also more heat resistant.”
Work is expected to start in about a month. The trial is free for the municipality with the partners set to pay for it.
Hendricks said if the trial was successful, the municipality may build a factory to recycle and produce plastic pellets locally.
“In this way it will be a triple win for our people: better roads, less pollution and more job opportunities.”