Driving a greener future

Driving a greener future

8 November 2019

If you take a drive through the Eastern Cape’s Kouga Municipal area sometime in the near future, you could very well find yourself unconsciously doing your bit for climate preservation as the municipality embarks on a project to build South Africa’s first “plastic” road.

According to the Executive Mayor of Kouga, Horatio Hendricks, there is a R500 million backlog for road repairs, and a distinct lack of income in the area. So, he and his team decided to explore more innovative means to deal with the pervasive problem.

This exploration lead to him meeting the Eastern Cape MPL, Vicky Knoetze. Back in 2017. Knoetze first brought the idea of plastic roads to the Legislature.

Knoetze put Hendricks in touch with Scotland based MacRebur who already have a number of plastic roads in use worldwide. The company’s plastic road solution is basically using plastic waste to change the asphalt mix normally used for the top layer of a road. The plastic waste is upcycled into pellets and replaces the bitumen in the asphalt mix.

Bitumen, one of the main ingredients in the material used when making a road, is extracted from crude oil, a fossil fuel that may very well run out in the near future. By replacing the bitumen with the plastic pellets, known as MR66, the use of this oil is significantly reduced, and results in and additional environmental saving.

It is estimated that up to 1.8 million plastic bags can be used in just one kilometre of road, and the menace of many South Africans, the pothole scourge will also be minimised as water is less likely to seep through the plastic. Another advantage is that the road is more heat resistant, cheaper to build and easier to maintain.

According to The Citizen, Hendricks said “if the trial was successful, the municipality would like to see a factory established in Kouga to produce the plastic pellets used in the construction of the roads, locally.” He is hoping for a “triple” win with better roads, less pollution and more job opportunities.

And while the plastic road innovation may still be away off, you can start going green by investing in Fleet Management, powered by Cartrack. Reduce fuel usage and expenses, improve driving behaviour and make your business more efficient on every level.

 

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