Los Angeles will make a road with recycled plastic bottles

The city of Los Angeles has got to work to build a road with recycled plastic bottles, an original green initiative.

Plastic bottles pass fleetingly through our day to day. Small containers of water, a variety of soft drinks or any bottle of various sizes that we buy at the supermarket. All this material is very homogeneous, therefore, easily recyclable. If this is finally achieved, the projects that can be undertaken are very interesting. This is the case of what the city of Los Angeles has begun to do.

In this huge city, a very original resurfacing project has begun. This work, which from time to time need streets and roads for maintenance, is now going to be done with material from recycled plastic bottles. Los Angeles City Council works closely with the TechniSoil Industrial startup to successfully carry out the initiative.

The objective is to resurface one of the main arteries of downtown Los Angeles. For this, a bitumen substitute has been used to amalgamate the asphalt. This material is normally composed of this derivative of hydrocarbons and stones, gravel and sand. To replace it, those responsible for the project have used polyethylene terephthalate, a material widely used in soda and water plastic bottles.

Multiple benefits for the environment
The most obvious benefit in terms of sustainability is the use of recycled plastic. It is not the first time that this type of material is used in construction. And the truth is that there are several ways to take advantage of this plastic from the bottles. But, in addition, the Los Angeles project includes other advantages.

carretera con botellas de plástico

The strategy to be followed will be to cut the existing asphalt, then throw the plastic and allow it to mix with the fragments. This will create the plastic road with recycled bottles. Without the need to bring new asphalt, which saves not only the emissions derived from the creation of the asphalt, but also those of the trucks that bring it. But it will also prevent trucks from coming to collect the pieces of powdered asphalt, as is usual in the resurfacing process.

Building this road with recycled plastic bottles will save 84 truck trips to the city of Los Angeles. At the moment it is a first project. But if things go well, the model is expected to reproduce.

Images: Skeeze, Natalia_Kollegova

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