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Barcelona will soon have more sustainable pavements

Road surface with non-recyclable plastic makes its debut in Barcelona

Road surface with non-recyclable plastic makes its debut in Barcelona

It paves the way to sustainability

On the first day of the new year, the Barcelona municipal website reported that a street in the Bon Pastor district of the city has received a new road surface layering with a sustainable material composed primarily of non-reusable plastics. This is meant to serve as a pilot project to observe and measure the resistance of this pavement to heavy traffic. If deemed successful it will be applied on more streets and neighbourhoods of the Catalonian capital.

Reduction in CO2 emissions in the production of this asphalt

Estimates indicate that the manufacture of this new pavement has resulted in a decrease of 17 tonnes of CO2 compared to what would have been emitted if the pavement had been manufactured using traditional methods and materials. To make the road surface material for the stretch, the manufacturers have used a total of 4,500 kg of plastic that could not be recycled. Instead, they have been given a final use in their life cycle. To put it in context, this is a figure that would equate to about 3,000 household garbage bags full of plastic.

The new pavement was installed on the Paseo de la Verneda, in the northeastern Bon Pastor district. The new material, which incorporates traces of plastics that had already ended their useful life, has higher resistance (compared to normal pavements) and better behaviour when exposed to regular passing of heavy vehicles like buses and trucks.

If the pilot test is satisfactory, this type of pavement will be installed in other sections of the city. The placement of this agglomerate has been done jointly with the development company AMSA and the engineering companies BAC and IM3, which had been awarded the contract for the maintenance of pavements in Barcelona.

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