Plastic waste is a problem of global proportions. However, advances in technology have managed to find a solution to two of South Africa’s biggest challenges; plastic pollution and damaged roads. Plastic roads do not absorb water, remain smooth, have better flexibility and are lower maintenance than ordinary tar-based roads.
Shisalanga Construction, a subsidiary of road construction company Raubex Group, has successfully paved a road using recycled plastic. The company used a binding agent with unique properties to blend recycled plastic compounds into the asphalt formula for the road. This successfully completed the country’s first-ever plastic road in Cliffdale, KwaZulu-Natal.
Plastic-based road tackles two problems at once
Shisalanga managing director, Donavan Deane Koekemoer, says that the company tackled two of South Africa’s biggest problems – damaged roads and an abundance of plastic waste – in order to produce the first recycled plastic paved road of its kind in Africa.
“The unfortunate condition of many of our primary and secondary roads demands an immediate and long-lasting solution. The citizens who use these roads to get to school, work and clinics every day deserve safe roads that are well-maintained,” says Koekemoer.
An urgent need to recycle plastic waste
“On the other end of the scale, there is an urgent need to recycle plastic waste in South Africa, to minimise the waste ending up in landfill sites, and to reduce other environmental threats,” he adds. Koekemoer also said that the company would expand the use of this plastic-based road throughout South Africa.
Representatives from the Department of Transport, South African National Roads Agency and the eThekwini municipality were in attendance to celebrate the watershed occasion of the plastic-based road’s completion.
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