A second asphalt paving project in Ontario, Canada has again demonstrated the potential for the use of recycled plastics in road construction works. The project, a brainchild of Nova Chemicals Corporation and GreenMantra Technologies incorporates the equivalent of 700,000 plastic bags in post-consumer recycled plastic materials into two pathways and a parking lot at the construction site of Nova Chemicals’ newest polyethylene manufacturing facility near Sarnia.
GreenMantra is an advanced recycling company with technology that upcycles post-consumer and post-industrial recycled plastics into specialty waxes and polymer additives. These, say the company, are highly suitable for use in roofing, plastic products and asphalt , which is an emerging area for reuse of plastic materials.
The Nova Chemicals paving project incorporated a polymer additive that is claimed to boost the performance of the asphalt to deliver stronger, and more durable roads.
The first project , completed in 2020, consisted of a field paving trial, conducted last year by Nova Chemicals in collaboration with GreenMantra, which included the equivalent of 118,000 plastic bags in two 1,700 feet long pathways located at its future Rokeby Site.
During the pilot, the product’s behaviour relative to the Canadian climate and the environmental impact of freeze- thaw cycles, UV rays, and moisture was assessed. The test also look at how well the modified asphalt performed under the load of heavy construction equipment.
Asphalt companies often use modifiers, like GreenMantra’s waxes, to help to make the asphalt more resistant to rutting and cracking, adding durability and longevity to pavements.
Following the positive outcome of the pilot, this second project was initiated.
GreenMantra’s specialty polymers are certified as 100 percent recycled content and can replace virgin polymers in industrial products, reducing the carbon footprint and enhancing the sustainability profile and performance of final products.
At Rokeby, the site of the new paving project, Nova Chemicals is currently constructing a second Advanced SClairtech technology polyethylene production facility (AST2), which is located adjacent to its Corunna site. As well, the company is expanding the ethylene capacity of its existing cracker at Corunna by more than 50% to provide ethylene feedstock to the new plant.
Nova Chemicals is one of the largest private employers in the Sarnia-Lambton region. At AST2 there are nearly 1,800 workers, representing more than four million hours worked since the project started. An estimated 150 permanent full-time jobs will be created to operate and maintain the facilities.
“Nova Chemicals’ $2.5 billion (CAD; around €1.76 billion) investment in two Ontario growth projects brings cutting edge technology, high-paying jobs and long-term viability to the region,” said Rob Thompson, vice president of manufacturing, NOVA Chemicals. “This paving project that incorporates recycled plastic in our new parking lot is another way we can demonstrate our commitment to sustainability and being a good neighbour here in Lambton County,” he added.