Vietnam plans to build first road made from recycled plastic

Hai Phong plans to use recycled plastic to build more durable roads instead of allowing it to become litter or landfill.
A woman sorts out recyclable plastic soft drink bottles at Xa Cau Village, outside Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo by Reuters/Kham

It will be the first such attempt in Vietnam, with the northern city joining hands with Dow Vietnam Company and DEEP C Industrial Complex for the purpose.

The first kilometer-long stretch in Deep C is expected to be completed in September this year with roughly four tons of plastic (equivalent to one million bags) provided by Dow.

The initiative is expected to create a market for plastic waste.

After completion, the road will be tested by the Vietnam Maritime University before more are laid all over the complex.

The main material used will be post-consumer plastic flexible packaging such as polyethylene film.

After being cleaned, dried and shredded, it will be mixed with asphalt at a temperature of 150-180 degrees Celsius. At this heat, the material completely melts and mixes well with the asphalt, ensuring durability for the road.

By recycling plastic in this manner, the project will also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by replacing part of the bitumen needed for the asphalt.

Ekkasit Lakkananithiphan, general director of Dow, said roads made from recycled plastic are evidence that plastic waste is likely to become a valuable renewable resource, contributing to the development of a plastics circular economy.

Dow has helped build more than 90 kilometers of roads from plastic waste in India, Indonesia, Thailand, and the U.S.

Vietnam disposes about 2,500 tons of plastic waste a day, according to official figures.


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