Construction has begun on South Africa’s first plastic road which will be created from pellets of waste plastic.
The road is being constructed in Jeffreys Bay in the Eastern Cape. If it proves successful, more plastic roads may be built.
The Kouga Municipality has a R500-million backlog in road maintenance. It hopes this eco-friendly road will be more durable and produce fewer potholes.
According to ENCA, about 1.8-million plastic bags will be used in one kilometre of road.
“Our intention here in the municipality is that people can recycle their plastic, we can mix it with the right binding agent and ensure that ultimately we can lay out new roads in towns such as this one.”
The use of waste plastic in road construction isn’t new. It’s been used both in Africa and internationally, including Australia, Canada, Ghana, India, Kenya, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
However, BusinessTech reported that the South African road construction industry is governed by strict national standards and specifications to ensure the performance of road pavements.
If the project is a success, the Kouga Municipality hopes to build a factory to produce the plastic pellets locally.