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Tougher asphalt with plastic hangers and bottle caps

Government bodies, universities and Spanish companies such as Plásticos Erum have been taking part in a project to create a new type of asphalt that reduces road maintenance requirements, manufactured by recycling almost 20 tons of hangers, bottle caps, containers and tyres.

This new material has been used to surface a two-kilometre stretch of the M-300 in Madrid at the Alcalá de Henares exist, where its performance will be studied over the next 18 months. A total of four types of asphalt mixtures modified with different types of waste (polystyrene hangers, polypropylene bottle caps, polyethylene containers and rubber powder from used tyres) have been laid over this two-kilometre stretch of road.

The behaviour of the six-centimetre-thick layer of these materials will be measured and evaluated with a series of quality control and monitoring tests.

So far, laboratory tests show that as well as being beneficial to the environment, the new asphalt blend has better technical characteristics than traditional versions and that it is more hardwearing, which means less maintenance and lower costs.

This type of project is a great initiative to increase the possibilities of reusing plastic waste materials.

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