The world’s first PlasticRoad has generated lots of media buzz!

On September 11, 2018, the imagination of inventors Anne Koudstaal and Simon Jorritsma of KWS gave birth to something very real: the world’s first PlasticRoad bicycle path – made of recycled plastic. In order to bring the inventor’s ideas to life, Wavin has supported heavily in the past years by delivering technology and manufacturing expertise. Together the companies – KWS, Wavin and Total - managed to design and produce the actual road elements made from recycled plastics. The first pilot was launched in the municipality of Zwolle, home to Wavin’s corporate headquarters, and generated loads of excitement and media buzz around the globe. Let’s take a closer look… 

Sustainability is all about being future-fit. So, who better to perform a test drive than the generation that will  benefit most from these new and exciting innovations? Looks like the PlasticRoad gets the thumbs-up from this young fellow!


The first ever PlasticRoad bicycle path opened in the Deventerstraatweg in Zwolle on September 11th, 2018. And the world took notice.  According to media monitoring analysts from Meltwater, media coverage (across news outlets and social media channels) generated as many as 77.2 million viewers – in September 2018 alone!  

The world’s first plastic bicycle path made of recycled bottles, cups and packaging has opened in the Netherlands, as part of a pilot that could see similar roads open up across the country.
The Guardian (United Kingdom) , 13 September, 2018

Media blitz

Online news reports on the PlasticRoad launch were most popular in the Netherlands – followed by Italy, the United States, the United Kingdom and Brazil. And the media outlets that received the most views were Nederland Nieuws, Stichting Milieunet, AD.nl, De Stentor, Engineersonline.nl and Province Overijssel. In the social media realm, Dutch viewers led the readership pack – along with viewers from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy. Proud to say that the Wavin channels helped to keep the PlasticRoad topic on the top of everyone’s tongues!
 

Gert-Jan Maasdam, talking about the construction of the PlasticRoad element that was on display in front of Wavin HQ

When it comes to sustainability, the Netherlands has always been at the forefront. In recent news, Zwolle, one of the country's "greenest cities," implemented the world's first bicycle lane composed of post-consumer waste that would normally be discarded or incinerated.
ArchDaily (United States) , 23 September, 2018

Thinking outside of the box

So why all the media excitement? Well, imagine a road that can be built in only a matter of days and that can last three times longer than a traditional road. Typically, roads are made from asphalt. Not this one. The PlasticRoad is made from recycled plastic, which effectively eliminates concerns about potential safety issues due to potholes and road cracks, water permeability and traffic noise reduction. Its sustainable design allows for excess water to drain quickly and has a built-in solution for pipes and cables. The PlasticRoad consortium – comprised of KWS, a VolkerWessels company, Wavin and Total – have been working on the development of the first PlasticRoad for several years and our efforts have been rewarded by the overwhelming positive response that was generated by the launch of the first pilot PlasticRoad bicycle path. The online media and social media channels have been very receptive and we thank them for their coverage. Most importantly, people from across the globe are reading about this exciting innovation.  We hope that you will keep on reading because there’s more to come.  Much more.
 

Stay in the loop  

Sign up for the PlasticRoad Newsletter via www.wavin.com/PlasticRoad and receive a free 'The Road to PlasticRoad' White Paper. Follow us on Facebook and stay tuned for more news about the launch of the next PlasticRoad pilot in Giethoorn (Overijssel) in November 2018. Giethoorn is a picturesque village famous for its canals and therefore also known as the Venice of the Netherlands. This pilot will be interesting as the soil there is more sensitive to subsidence. We will keep you posted!