Innovation in the area of asphalt is very incremental: for more than hundred years, the innovation keeps stuck in the same area. Anne Koudstaal and Simon Jorritsma got the idea that there should be a radical change and developed the idea to use recycled plastic as a base for asphalt. This has both economic and environmental advantages.
Asphalt has high requirements: The orderer of the asphalt does not want to look at it again for the next 50 years, it needs to be lightweight (because otherwise, it might sag), and needs to be built fast. The most important ingredient of asphalt is bitumen, a crude oil product. Anne and Simon were looking for an alternative resource to replace bitumen with, which resulted in plastic. Plastic would be an ideal material although, it is not very sustainable. It is however recyclable. So why not use recycled plastic in asphalt? This is how the idea for PlasticRoad emerged.
PlasticRoads offers a solution for social issues, like the plastic soup. At the same time, the PlasticRoad is low maintenance and lightweight. Because of the light weight the asphalt roads are less likely to sag. Also, PlasticRoad is built modularly and is prefab constructed, which reduces the time to build the road with 80%.
At this moment, Anne and Simon are busy to set up the project. Therefore, they are looking for partners: At KWS Infra, there is a lot of knowledge about roads, but they need to find more knowledge about plastics. At the end of 2016, the first prototype is fabricated which will contribute to gaining knowledge about materials, requirements, taxes, etc. There are dozens of clients found that want to test the concept once the product is further developed.