Turn the Plastic into Roads?

The opportunity is emerging to absorb mixed plastic waste, turning plastic into roads, displacing bitumen from road asphalts. We find strong economics, with net margins of $200/ton of plastic, deflating the materials costs of roads by c4%. The challenge is scaling the opportunity beyond 20MTpa, as unrecycled waste plastics surpass 320MTpa. Leading companies include Dow (US, public) and MacRebur (UK, private). Full details are covered in our new 6-page note.

Pages 2-3 outline the confluence between the road-building indsutry and the plastic waste problem, covering market sizes and costs.

Page 4 is a table of 15 projects we have screened so far, mainly from 2019-20, using modified mixed plastic waste as a road-binder, including key facts and stats.

Page 5 outlines the economics, by analogy to our recent research into plastic pyrolysis (and still extremely exciting) and for road-building more broadly.

Page 6 addresses the challenge of scalability of turning plastics into roads, using data and estimates for the percent of mixed plastic going into road materials.

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