The idea of using waste plastics in road construction is relatively new. Laboratory tests have shown positive results when a small amount (5-10% by weight) of plastic is incorporated in bituminous mixes (asphalt), resulting in improved pavement stability, strength, and durability. However, international field experience using plastics in actual road construction is quite limited. In this review, we found examples of waste plastics being used in road construction in a few case studies in India, UK, Netherlands, Ghana, Ethiopia and South Africa. While roads constructed using waste plastics have shown good longevity and pavement performance to date, the first roads constructed using this technology are only about ten years old, so long-term outcomes are not yet clear. This review did not find any evidence discussing the maintenance of roads constructed using waste plastics.
K4D helpdesk reports provide summaries of current research, evidence and lessons learned. This report was commissioned by the UK Department for International Development.
Sasidharan, M., Eskandari Torbaghan, M., & Burrow, M. P. N. (2019). Using waste plastics in road construction. K4D Helpdesk Report. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies