San Miguel Corporation to build roads out of recycled plastic

Published March 12, 2019, 12:36 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By MB Online

Reducing man’s impact on the environment is one of the main advocacies of environmentalists.

San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is one with environmentalists in this endeavor and has been pushing for ways to recycle materials that they themselves use in their products particularly: plastic.

Thus, the think tanks of SMC have envisioned the building of roads out of recycled plastic waste.

“This initiative is part of our push towards greater sustainability. Two years ago, we announced our major water sustainability project: to cut SMC water use by 50 percent by 2025. Recently, we reported that we beat our 2020 intermediate deadline of 20 percent reduction, by two years. Last year, we announced another initiative, and that is to address solid waste pollution. This project is part of that goal,” SMC president and COO Ramon S. Ang said in a news release on Monday.

To make this vision possible SMC is partnering with materials science company Dow Chemical.

Together, they plan to produce an alternative to asphalt, by converting plastic materials that are “hard-to-recycle”.

“Developing roads using plastics that would have otherwise ended up in landfills or our bodies of water is an environment-friendly method of disposing of scrap plastics,” Ang said.

The method would prove to be a two-pronged approach to the plastic problem as not only will this project help reduce plastic waste, it will also be able to create better building materials for roads and other infrastructure.

Recycled plastics for road surfacing will supposedly help improve stability and durability of roads, increase skid resistance, and have a longer lifespan than asphalt, which will in turn help the government spend less money on road-building and repair.

Dow has reportedly already worked in countries like India, Indonesia and Thailand wherein the properties of plastics were modified to produce bitumen, a material used in making asphalt.