A bridge like this of recycled plastic could also work in the Middle East
A bridge from recycled plastic, and strong enough to support a car or truck’s weight? This may seem hard to believe; but after covering art from recycled socks, chairs from recycled newspapers, and even a large Christmas tree from recycled plastic drink bottles, this idea my not be very far fetched.
A recent story in CNN’s Eco Solutions environmental covered 30 meter long bridge being put across the waters of the River Tweed in Peeblesshire, Scotland. The bridge, reputed to be the longest such bridge in the world, was built on a private estate in order to not have to abide by existing traffic laws, which have not yet approved a bridge made form such material for use on a public road. Engineers who built the bridge, however, claim that the material used, constructed entirely out or recycled plastic, can support weights of up to 44 tons.
This much weight would allow such a bridge to support virtually all kinds of vehicles, except perhaps very heavy trucks. It would surely be enough to support weights of private cars and light to medium trucks. Vertech Composites, the British company behind the project, says that the bridge is a prototype that has the potential to meet future road and bridge requirements in an eco-friendly manner.
William Mainwaring, CEO of Vertech Composities, told CNN:
“There are currently significant bridge and river crossing needs in rural and countryside areas and there will only be more in years going forward.”
Mainwaring claims that the plastic composite material is a more sustainable alternative to existing bridge construction materials and not as likely to degrade as steel, timber and concrete.
If this material is good for small bridges in Scotland, why wouldn’t it be good for similar bridges over small streams and rivers in the Middle East, especially in countries like Lebanon and Israel where literally tons of plastic material winds up in landfills or even finds its way into the sea? For instance, we reported that Lebanon dumps much of its garbage straight into the sea, and this must also include tons of plastic material.
It may be a while before bridges and other structures made form recycled plastic are seen in the Middle East. But the idea at least sounds very promising.
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