First plas­tic road in place by next year

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - — Wheels Re­porter.

DUTCH com­pany KWS ex­pects to have its plas­tic road, first re­ported on in Wheels in 2015, in­stalled by end of 2017.

A sub­sidiary of Volk­erWes­sels, KWS re­cently an­nounced an agree­ment to de­velop the Plas­ticRoad with plas­tic pipe ex­perts Wavin and oil and gas com­pany To­tal.

The Plas­ticRoad con­cept, first in­tro­duced in 2015 by KWS, en­tails recycling plas­tic waste into light­weight mod­ules with hol­low in­te­ri­ors that can be fit­ted with ca­bles and plas­tic pipes and al­low ex­cess wa­ter to drain.

The pre-fab­ri­cated units will be easy to trans­port, as­sem­ble and main­tain, and the lighter weight means the ground will be less prone to sub­si­dence.

The ob­jec­tive is to cre­ate a road with a smaller eco­log­i­cal foot­print than tra­di­tional road sys­tems.

When the ele­ments reach their end of life ex­pectancy they can be re­cy­cled again, con­tribut­ing to a cir­cu­lar econ­omy and cleaner en­vi­ron­ment.

Anne Koud­staal and Si­mon Jor­ritsma, the in­ven­tors of Plas­ticRoad, said in a state­ment: “To­gether with Wavin and To­tal, we now have a vast pool of knowl­edge, ex­pe­ri­ence and re­sources, and can take con­crete steps in the de­vel­op­ment of Plas­ticRoad. We ex­pect to have a first pro­to­type com­pleted by year-end 2017.”

KWS di­rec­tor Rolf Mars added: “Wavin and To­tal be­lieve in the Plas­ticRoad con­cept and I have ev­ery con­fi­dence in a con­struc­tive and suc­cess­ful col­lab­o­ra­tion.”

Jan Willem Vi­ets, di­rec­tor of Wavin Ned­er­land, said: “Be­ing part of the de­vel­op­ment of Plas­ticRoad fits in the strat­egy of Wavin to pro­vide in­no­va­tive plas­tic so­lu­tions for the build­ing in­dus­try. This is a great chance to de­velop a new way of road build­ing to­gether with other mar­ket lead­ers in this busi­ness.”

Xavier Bon­temps, se­nior vice-pres­i­dent for To­tal’s Poly­mers Busi­ness Unit, said To­tal sup­ports ini­tia­tives that re­duce its car­bon foot­print, in­clud­ing the use and de­vel­op­ment of re­new­able biosourced and re­cy­cled feed­stocks, in line with its com­mit­ment to bet­ter en­ergy.

Bon­temps said: “We are de­lighted to be work­ing on this promis­ing flag­ship project and to share our ex­per­tise in poly­mer so­lu­tions and recycling pro­cesses. This agree­ment is aligned with our com­mit­ment to us­ing re­new­able and re­cy­cled sources and re­duc­ing the car­bon foot­print for the mar­kets we serve.”

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

An artist’s im­pres­sion of the plas­tic road which three Nether­lands com­pa­nies aim to put in place by the end of 2017.

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