Kouga in the Eastern Cape is working towards making the first plastic road in South Africa following the lead of Australia, India, the US and more.
Eastern Cape, South Africa – Plastic roads are slowly starting to make an appearance all around the world. They are being called the solution to plastic pollution, and this is why… in the Netherlands, they used 218,000 plastic cups to make a 30-metre bicycle path.
The team responsible for the path in the Netherlands say that it is more durable than regular asphalt. Now, with so much global success the idea is being piloted right here in South Africa.
The Kouga municipality in the Eastern Cape is planning to build the first plastic road in South Africa. According to the municipality mayor, Horatio Hendricks local civil engineering and construction companies SP Excel and Scribante Construction will be partnering with the Scottish firm MacRebur to build a 1km stretch as a trial run.
Eastern Cape Member of the Provincial Legislature, Vicky Knoetze, first pitched the idea in 2017 but the idea was dismissed. Now just a short wait later, her plan is being implemented.
“Non-recyclable plastic waste, which ends up in the ocean or clogging up landfill sites, is processed into pellets and used to replace a large component of the bitumen in a conventional asphalt mix,”
“The result is a road that is stronger and more durable. Water, the main cause of potholes, does not penetrate it as easily as with traditional asphalt mixes and it is also more heat resistant.” – Vicky Knoetze
In a statement issued earlier this year, Horatio Hendricks, Executive Mayor of Kouga Municipality, said the local authority would be taking hands with a Scottish company and South African civil engineering experts to build the first “plastic road” in Africa.
“The backlog in road repairs for our region is estimated to be more than R500 million. While Kouga is strong financially, we simply do not have the rates base to deal with this backlog decisively,” he said.
“The DA-led Kouga Council has, therefore, been looking for innovative ways to slay this giant since taking power in the municipality in 2016.”
The partners were so passionate about this project; they are sponsoring the first 1km stretch of road. The project will start in a month, and if proven a success, then a factory will be built thus creating jobs for people in Kouga. Hold thumbs it is a success as it will tackle a number of issues in South Africa. For one, the plastic problem but also unemployment and the dreaded potholes SA has sadly grown accustomed to.
“In this way, it will be a triple win for our people: better roads, less pollution and more job opportunities.”
What are your thoughts about this new project? Let us know in the comment section.