Where does your recycled plastic go? Perhaps into future highways.

This article discusses where your recycled plastic might go? Perhaps into future highways. The author says it might not be a good idea.

An article in Monday’s Washington Post proposed that the plastic recycling problem could be solved by using the recycled plastic to make roads.

This is a quintessentially bad idea. It threatens to become a prime example of how today’s solutions can become tomorrow’s problems if you don’t think it through.

For this to make a difference, it would have to go to scale, with massive numbers of roads being made of recycled plastic. If it didn’t go to scale, it would become a boutique band-aid, allowing us to feel good about a faux solution but not really solving anything.

Here’s tomorrow’s problem if this gets implemented: Roads degrade because they get abraded by vehicular traffic. That becomes massive amounts of micro and nano plastic particles… plastic dust. Storm run-off would carry it into the waste water system or directly into surface waters.

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