South Africa is set to get its first road made from plastic. Highway Bakkie Hire is all for this initiative and we are sure you are too, our loyal customers and friends. Plastic roads have taken off in many countries in Europe, in Australia, India, the US and now finally, South Africa. Is this the solution to the pollution crisis? We sure hope so.
The Kouga Municipality in the Eastern Cape announced in March that it will trial our first plastic road. Eastern Cape Member of the Provincial Legislature, Vicky Knoetze, first pitched the idea in 2017 but the idea was dismissed. “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,” said Knoetze.
Her plan is now approved. According to the mayor, Horatio Hendricks, local civil engineering and construction companies will be partnering with the Scottish firm MacRebur to build a 1km stretch as a trial run. MacRebur has already tested plastic roads in the United Kingdom and other countries across the globe. The partners are so passionate about this project, they are sponsoring the first kilometre stretch of the road. The project will start this month and if proven a success, then a factory will be built to produce the pellets, thus creating jobs. This plastic road could tackle a number of issues in SA. For one, the plastic problem but also unemployment and the dreaded potholes we have grown accustomed to.
The search for an innovative solution to cutting the costs of roads maintenance led to a solution for the environment too. Knoetze facilitated a meeting between the municipality and MacRebur, and it was after this meeting that the idea was finally accepted.
“I am delighted with the outcome and that Kouga has agreed to become the first municipality in South Africa and the continent to put the technology to the test. Poor roads have a devastating impact on communities. It’s not only a danger to motorists, it is also bad for the economy as it scares off potential investors and makes it difficult for existing businesses to ply their trade.”
If the trial is successful in Jeffrey’s Bay, it may just be a starting point for the rest of South Africa and a perfect way for us to take plastic out of our oceans and landfills and use it for something sensible. “The result is a road that is stronger and more durable,” Knoetze said. A plastic road surface is also cheaper and easier to maintain. Hopefully, they will be coming to KZN next!
Contact us for the perfect car to take a trip and test this plastic road when it’s built!