Plastics in Asphalt – Current State of Practice

The asphalt industry has a long history of using greenhouse gas reducing materials such as reclaimed asphalt pavement, recycled tire rubber, and more to build ever more sustainable roads. As countries stop importing waste plastics, the question of “What to do with our plastic waste?” has grown. One potential solution is to use recycled plastic in asphalt.

As strong supporters of recycling responsibly, the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) is working alongside other partners within the asphalt pavement industry and with plastics manufacturers to study the practical feasibility of reusing plastics in asphalt pavements.

NAPA has launched a webpage to showcase the start of our research.  Many questions remain related to the long-term performance impact of plastic in asphalt pavements, the true environmental impacts, potential material cost increases, worker health & safety, operational feasibility, and the eventual re-recyclability of asphalt mixtures that incorporate plastic in “first generation” plastics enhanced asphalt mixtures.

The NAPA plastics in asphalt dedicated webpage is located here.  NAPA most current publication on the state of knowledge regarding plastics in asphalt is provided here.