MEL Magazine asks the question: Can the Construction Industry solve the World’s plastic crisis?
“More than 300 million tons of new plastic are produced annually and less than 10 percent is recycled,” says Felix Heisel, architect and director of the Circular Construction Lab at Cornell University, emphasizing the need for big-picture solutions. “What we need is a paradigm shift in how we construct and design.”
As far as Wisniewska and Heisel are concerned, in the context of road-building, this presents a serious concern. “Encapsulated plastic might be out of sight in the short term, but can still cause immense problems to the environment in the long run,” says Wisniewska. “Its resulting microplastics will be here forever, getting smaller and smaller, entering food chains, reducing biodiversity and causing health problems.” Aside from the long-term problem of single-use plastic roads, “adding the possible threat of microplastics resulting from tire abrasion, UV light degradation and climatic influences,” she says
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