Late last year, we were treated to some good news when San Miguel Corporation (SMC) announced that it successfully built the Philippines’ first road made of recycled plastic. Now, it seems that plastic-built asphalt roads will become more common sooner than we think, as the Department of Public Works and Highways–Bureau of Research and Standards (DPWH-BRS) has repaved a road using asphalt mixed with reused plastic bags, this time along a heavy-traffic area in Manila City.
This project was initially the Re-Entry Action Plan (REAP) of Engr. Neilsen Campit entitled ‘Study on the use of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) waste (plastic bags) as additive/modifier in hot mix asphalt’. The implementation of this REAP is one of his requirements as an alumnus of the Australia Awards.
The project was then carried out under Campit’s office, the DPWH-BRS, in collaboration with the Pilotage Trading Corporation, Readycon Construction and Trading Corporation, and the DPWH–South Manila District Engineering Office. A 288-meter road was paved along Taft Avenue near the National Bureau of Investigation building all the way to Kalaw Avenue. To enable better comparison in similar local conditions, 139 meters of the road was paved using conventional asphalt, while the remaining 149 meters was paved using asphalt mixed with plastic waste. The latter was said to be compliant with the standards set by the DPWH and was thus recommended for pilot trials in actual local conditions.
“The constructed pilot project will be monitored for one year: monthly for the first six months, and quarterly for the rest of the following six months,” said Campit. “We will do performance tests such as crack mapping, sand patch test, skid resistance test, and rutting test.”
Project preparation and actual construction lasted from October 28, 2019, to January 28, 2020, with total cost amounting to P6.25 million. A second small-scale implementation of the study is slated for later this year.
“The use of plastic wastes in pavement construction will play an important role in reducing the use of nonrenewable resources, in constructing sustainable pavements, and in reducing the environmental impacts of waste disposal at dumpsites,” Campit added.
What do you think of these plastic-built roads? Are you looking forward to seeing the results of this study? The comments section is open.