SMC working to build bike lanes from recycled plastic waste

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 9) — San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is working with local government units (LGUs) to build bike lanes made up of recycled plastic waste in partner cities and provinces nationwide.

In a release on Monday, the conglomerate quoted SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang as saying they were looking to work with technology partners and LGUs who wanted to put up dedicated lanes that would accommodate bikers starting in Mandaluyong City.

"It has almost been a year since we started our plastic road initiative and so far, our pilot site has held up very well," Ang said. "It's in our logistics facility used heavily everyday by large vehicles with heavy loads. Very soon, I think we can graduate it for light public use, specifically for bicycle lanes."

Although the technology was fairly new, Ang said SMC hopes to use it more widely someday.

Restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic have led to a rise in bikers on the road. SMC has also launched a program that provides bicycles to employees and members of its workforce nationwide.

"Because of social distancing and restrictions on transportation, more of our countrymen are now biking to work," Ang said. "It promotes health and fitness, lessens pollution and provides a cost-free way to get to one's destination, and has also been embraced by many LGUS who have set special bike lanes on roads."

In November last year, SMC laid plastic-mixed asphalt on a 1,500 square meter pilot site in its logistics center in General Trias, Cavite. The road is meant to withstand heavily loaded trucks and equipment.

The road used 900 kilos of recycled plastic, which was used as a binder with bitumen to produce the asphalt. The mix was made in partnership with global materials science company Dow.

Based on independent lab testing, the material exceeded the standards set by the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Further testing is needed before it can be used in major roads and infrastructure projects.