Dow Working to Turn Discarded Plastics into Roads
Plastics materials that aren’t recycled can pollute the environment.
Technologies made possible by chemistry can convert used plastics into road materials.
In India, The Dow Chemical Company worked with government officials and waste collectors to collect and process enough discarded plastic material to pave 40 kilometers of roads—diverting 100 metric tons of waste from landfills in the process.
With the goal of reducing marine debris and recovering the value of discarded materials, The Dow Chemical Company is collaborating with governments and other stakeholders in Asia Pacific to turn discarded plastics into durable, long-lasting roads.
- In India, Dow worked with government officials and waste collectors in the cities of Bangalore and Pune to collect enough discarded plastics to pave 40 kilometers of roads – diverting 100 metric tons of waste from landfills in the process. Volunteers collected and delivered plastics to local recyclers for processing. The material was then sent to local asphalt plants, where it replaced bitumen in the asphalt mixture.
- As one of the top countries facing the marine debris challenge, the Indonesian government set a goal to reduce plastics waste in the ocean by 70 percent by 2025. To work toward this goal, Dow partnered with government and other stakeholders to develop the country’s plastic road building project.
Dow worked with local groups to complete the first plastic road trial in Depok city, West Java, in 2017. The road was made by mixing 3.5 metric tons of discarded plastics into asphalt to create a 1.8 kilometer-long-road, covering a total area of 9,781 square meters.
Roads made using discarded plastics can last longer than current asphalt roads built in these countries. They also save petroleum used to make asphalt, have lower greenhouse gas emissions, help reduce litter and provide a new life for discarded plastics.