A 2.5-mile stretch of highway in the state of Guanajuato in central Mexico has used 1.7 tons of recycled plastic, or the equivalent of 425,000 plastic packaging units, according to Dow Plastics Technology Mexico. “The advantage of using recycled plastic products is that they can be used on all types of highways, not only in high-performance products, which can extend the life span of any paved road,” Paula Sans, Dow Mexico’s director of packaging and specialty plastics.
The newly paved stretch of highway connects the cities of Irapuato and Cuerámaro. The area is home to dozens of foreign and domestic factories, including automakers General Motors Company and Ford Motor Company and food giant General Mills, Inc. The plastic asphalt was created by a group of companies including Dow, Vise Construction, Surfax engineering-construction, technology firm Lasfalto and plastics recycler Omnigree. The highway project was supported by Mexico’s Federal Communications and Transportation Secretariat (SCT). “Demonstrating that highways made from high-performance modified asphalts using recycled plastic material can be accomplished is a step forward to develop applications based on a circular economy business model — to provide a solution to the growing concern regarding the handling of plastic waste,” Sans said.