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Could We Recycle Plastics Into Roads?

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

could we recycle plastics into roads

Story at-a-glance -

  • Since China ceased importing plastic waste in 2017, cities have no market for their recyclables and pollution has grown worse
  • Roads built of recycled, discarded plastic can use 1 million plastic bags for every kilometer built
  • Authorities in India say their plastic roads are free from potholes, rutting, raveling or edge flaw, even after four years of use
  • The Netherlands is building plastic roads which are said to be lighter, quicker to install and to last longer than traditional roads
  • The University of California at San Diego installed the U.S.’ first asphalt road made with a recycled plastic binder
  • Plastic pollution is an urgent problem since the world now produces 299 million tons of plastics a year, much of it ending up in oceans

Readers of this newsletter know that plastic pollution is an urgent crisis. But, as if the 299 million tons of plastics the world produces a year were not enough, the situation is actually getting worse. China had imported 40 percent of America’s plastic waste, as well as other recyclables, for the last 30 years, but abruptly banned the imports in 2017.

This has had dire consequences and the market for recyclables has all but collapsed, leaving cities that depended on exporting to China with no buyers.

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