Pilot circular-economy project demonstrates innovative use for post-consumer plastic
As part of Dow’s commitment to reducing plastic in the environment and delivering circular economy solutions through innovation, the company constructed two new polymer modified asphalt (PMA) roads by improving them with post-consumer recycled plastic (PCR) at its Freeport, Texas facility. Both private roads—Plastics Road and Gulfstream Road—are now open for traffic.
Enabled by DuPont™ Elvaloy® asphalt modification technology, these roads achieved the following:
- Used 1,686 pounds of recycled linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) plastic —the equivalent weight of 120,000 plastic grocery bags.
- Covered a combined length of approximately 2,600 feet.
- Saved PMA material cost.
- Met Performance Grade 70-22 requirements.
“We’re excited about the technological implications of this project, and it’s worth mentioning that PCR helped to reduce the material cost of PMA in road construction,” said Jennifer Li, global construction sustainability leader and ICT infrastructure & construction marketing manager at Dow. He added “For many, a circular economy can seem unrealistic. It becomes far more realistic when they see how sustainability efforts can be supported by improved performance and cost savings.”
As Dow researchers examine the results of this project—a collaboration with Martin Asphalt, American Materials and Vernor Material & Equipment—they plan to monitor the longevity and performance of the PMA roads to further improve them for a variety of climates and conditions. Dow is developing plans to use next-generation recycled plastic mixtures to improve parking lots at its Midland, Michigan headquarters.