Roads are often overlooked when it comes to the impact of cars on the environment, but we can’t ignore the roads have on the environment when discussing the practicality of cars. Asphalt is used to make roads and the process of creating asphalt is very energy intensive. In Vancouver, they are looking into ways to lower the negative impact of car infrastructure by making greener roads.
First, it allows asphalt to be heated at 20 to 40 degrees less than is necessary when using the traditional “hot mix” method. This reduces the amount of fuel necessary for the process, which in turn reduces the resulting greenhouse-gas production by as much as 50 per cent. Second, although there are other paving materials that have similar characteristics, they’re normally made of petroleum products. GreenMantra’s product comes from recycled plastics.
The wax is slightly more expensive than petroleum-based materials, but GreenMantra and the City of Vancouver are looking to bring down the cost by sourcing cheaper plastic. The price could also drop of its own accord, as GreenMantra begins to produce the stuff in greater quantities.