Costa Rica to Begin Paving with Recycled Plastic

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    The pura vida country will be first to install plastic roads in Central America.

    Citizens of San Isidro, Malpaís, Delicias, Cabuya, Futuro Verde and Hermosa may soon have a highway free of dust and pollution thanks to Kelly Mason’s Green Pavement Company and related Pave the Road organization.

    The initiative will begin with a pilot implementation approved by UCR’s National Laboratory of Material and Structural Models (LANAMME). It will help over 1,500 children who suffer from everyday health problems such as asthma and allergies by installing 1.2 km of “green pavement” around 7 schools in Cobano, Puntarenas.

    Answering More Than One Problem

    The Green Pavement Company presents itself as an eco-friendly alternative to traditional pavement. Not only will such roads finally be putting the inorganic substance to good use, The Green Pavement Company will have different compositions available for Costa Rica’s varying climatic, geographic and traffic conditions. Currently all roads, regardless of location, are paved with AC grade 30 asphalt.

    Furthermore, each green-paved kilometer will use 3 tons of recycled plastic — slightly less than the amount volunteers collected during last year’s beach clean-ups, but don’t worry there’s plenty more to be collected.

    [quote_box_right]Why You’ll Never Want to Buy Another Bottled Water in Costa Rica[/quote_box_right]The overall consumption of plastic in Costa Rica is much higher. The Green Pavement Company currently works with a collection site called Reciclada Capatur in Paquera. That location alone processes around 10 metric tons of plastic each day. With the project now underfoot, Reciclada Capatur will offer work to impoverished people to collect materials needed for construction.

    The Green Pavement Company also states that when compared to traditional asphalt roads, constructing from recycled plastic materials prevents more than 300 tons of greenhouse gases from being released each year and lessens the amount of toxic fumes produced during construction

    Finally, LANAMME claims that plastic pavement is not only healthier and cheaper, but requires less maintenance and will last three years longer than concrete or asphalt.

    Similar roads have already been developed in Europe, Canada and India.


    Despite its benefits and relatively low costs, paving roads that were previously gravel still requires funding to come from somewhere. Current sponsors include Nature Air, Hotel Alta, Villas del Rio, Universidad VERITAS, and Kimberly Clark — but the initiative still requires more support.

    On December 9th, Hotel Alta will be hosting a gala dinner where those involved will announce the official start date for construction. Ahmed Khan, CEO of KK Plastic Roads and Luis Guillermo Loria of LANAMME will be presenting. Space can be reserved for $50 via Pave the Road’s website.

    All interested parties are also invited to visit the project’s “Participate” page which provides information on both volunteer opportunities and additional donations. “Like” PAVE the ROAD on Facebook to receive even more updates.

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