A bike path like no other has just been opened in the town of Zwolle in the Netherlands. The 100-foot long path was made using only recycled plastic. It took the equivalent of 500,000 plastic bottle caps to make this innovative path. Not only is the cycling path helping answer the problem of plastic pollution, but it is also estimated to be two to three times more durable than “normal” roads!
This idea came from Dutch engineering firm KWS, pipe maker Wavin, and French oil major Total, Thomson Reuters Foundation reports. The idea was applauded by leading environmental expert Guus Velders who emphasized that it was a “positive step” towards a more circular, and thus more sustainable, use of materials. The Dutch government itself has pledged to cut its use of raw materials in half by 2030 and shift into a so-called “circular economy.”
“This first pilot is a big step towards a sustainable and future-proof road made of recycled plastic waste,” Anne Koudstaal and Simon Jorritsma, the path’s inventors, said in a statement. Luckily, this new path won’t be the only one for long – a second is expected to open in the Dutch village of Giethoorn in November 2018.
Using recycled plastic to make roads presents an incredible solution to the problem of plastic pollution. Every year, over 8.8 million tons of plastic enter the ocean, kill marine wildlife, and end up polluting our drinking water. Similar efforts to use plastic to make roads have been put into action in Tamil Nadu, India where more than 1,600 tons of plastic have been used to lay over 620 miles of roads in five years.
Recycling non-biodegradable waste is an important part of keeping plastic pollution in check, but the overall condition of the oceans will not start improving unless the issue of plastic use is addressed at the root – which is supply and demand. To learn how you can be part of the change by minimizing your own use of plastics, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!
Image source: Free-Photos/Pixabay