The Netherlands is testing a bike lane made from recycled plastic

The Netherlands, land of bikes and good design, is no stranger to clever takes on the bike lane. Some of them glow, while others are paved with asphalt made with recycled toilet paper. Now you can add the world’s first bike lane made from recycled plastic to the list.

A new 100-foot stretch of bike lane in Zwolle is made from 70 percent recycled plastic, which includes waste from plastic bottles, festival beer cups, packaging, and plastic furniture.

The material, which looks similar to that used on running tracks, is formed into hollow, lightweight pre-fabricated parts that can be installed in pieces instead of poured like concrete and asphalt. A tube inside the pieces is able to hold storm water or carry cables, making it a multi-functional piece of infrastructure.

Right now, the PlasticRoad is still in the testing phase to see how the material holds up over extended use. The good news, though, is that even if it wears out, the road can just be recycled again.

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