Tuesday, August 29, 2017

PlasticRoad makes it to the 2017 INDEX Awards Finals

KWS, in collaboration with Wavin and Total combined their knowledge, experience, and resources to build the first road made from 100% recycled plastic. With their PlasticRoad concept, they are one of the finalists in the 2017 INDEX Awards!

The brainchild

The PlasticRoad concept was conceived by VolkerWessels' enterprise, KWS, the largest road construction company in the Netherlands. After studying some of the road-related problems that urban areas face – such as road erosion from extreme weather conditions and pluvial flooding, as well as the inevitable repair and maintenance issues that arise as a result – the idea of a road made from 100% recycled plastic waste from the ocean made complete sense. To accomplish this sustainable feat and develop a PlasticRoad prototype, three industry giants (KWS, Wavin and Total) have joined forces. Wavin, who is a world leader in plastic pipe systems, along with oil and gas company Total, provide the perfect combination of knowledge, expertise and experience to align with KWS in this “first-of-its-kind” endeavor. Sustainability in its finest hour.

And it made it to the 2017 INDEX Awards Finals!

Created by Denmark in 2002, the INDEX: Design to Improve Life® organization sets out to Inspire, Educate and Engage in designing sustainable solutions to global challenges, such as clean water, education, energy production, overpopulation elderly care, and so much more. The INDEX Awards, which will take place in Elsinore (Denmark) on September 1st, is the largest global design award event. And KWS’s PlasticRoad concept is a finalist. Its inventors, Simon Jorritsma and Anne Koudstaal will travel to Elsinore to attend the ceremony.

Why the PlasticRoad will improve life

A few facts....
- 8 billion kilograms of plastic end up in our ocean every year (estimate)
- 54% of plastic is still incinerated or dumped into landfills today
- only 14% of plastic waste is recycled at this moment

With the PlasticRoad, we will bring plastic waste back into the chain, thus reducing the CO2 impact of building a road. The plastic will be recycled and used for a second time at a much higher level. This is in line with the Cradle to Cradle (C2C) philosophy. This is not only the case for the plastic waste, but also for the PlasticRoad elements itself. These can be re-used and recycled into new PlasticRoad elements.

The production, transportation and build of the road are much more sustainable than a traditional road, because....
- a road made out of PlasticRoad elements requires 80% less transport than a traditional road
- the PlasticRoad is 4 times lighter than traditional asphalt roads - which reduces costs and emissions
- the costs of the PlasticRoad are 50% lower in case of replacement of a taditional road with the current method

And, remember, there are 40 million kilometers of road… worldwide. The potential of the recycling and re-use of plastic in roads is huge. That is why the three PlasticRoad partners – KWS, Wavin and Total – are working very hard to realize the first pilot. The plan is to have a bicycle path made out of PlasticRoad elements by the end of this year. Hopefully we can soon share more details about the location of that first pilot. 
But first, let’s go to Elsinore…!
To find out who the 2017 winner of the INDEX Awards is, follow us on Facebook.