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Recycled Polymer Modified Asphalt for Sustainable Roads

Paving the way to more sustainable roads and less plastic waste

Plastic waste is a huge issue around the world. One way to help stop the flow of this waste is to use recycled polymer modified asphalt for roads, parking lots, and other pavement.

Polymer modified asphalt (PMA) is a proven solution for making better pavement. Our ELVALOY™ Reactive Elastomeric Terpolymer (RET) products have been enhancing PMAs for more than 30 years, resulting in excellent performance, long service life, and lower life cycle costs compared to conventional, neat asphalt.

Country asphalt road and green woods nature landscape in summer

The road to reduced plastic waste

Recycled polymer modified asphalt (RPMA) takes pavement in a new direction by adding post-consumer recycle content (PCR) to the mix. To make RPMA, the base asphalt binder is modified by adding the PCR with ELVALOY™ RET to the asphalt.  

In addition to putting plastic waste to good use and keeping it out of landfills, RPMA pavement can help reduce:

  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • Energy consumption
  • Resurfacing needs 

Did You Know? 
Learn more about the excellent performance and value ELVALOY™ RET brings to PMA and RPMA applications.

Roundabout roundabout or new construction

Bringing it full circle 

Each paving project is different and requires different materials for varied regulations and performance requirements. Our global capabilities allow us to collaborate closely with local partners – including road developers/asphalt producers, recyclers, municipalities/governments, non governmental organizations (NGOs), industry associations, and universities. All sharing the vision of making the best possible pavement – and reducing plastic waste in the environment.

Independent testing from research institutions, as well as our own tests indicate that properly formulated RPMA delivers performance similar to traditional PMA.

Technical Resources

World map with pilot project sites highlighted

Global inroads 

Since the first project in Indonesia in 2017, working with the Indonesian government toward the goal of reducing plastic waste in the ocean by 70 percent by 2025. To date, our RPMA pilot projects around the world have laid more than 66 miles (107 km) of pavement – diverting more than 220,000 lbs. (100 metric tons) of plastic waste from landfills while meeting all appropriate regulations and performance specifications.

These RMPA projects are just a sample of efforts are helping Dow reach its 2030 target to enable 1 million metric tons of plastic to be collected, reused or recycled through its direct actions and partnerships.

RPMA pilot projects(1)

Project

Surface(s) paved

waste plastic diverted

Additional comments

Freeport, Texas, USA

~ 2,600 ft2 (0.79 km) 

1,686 lbs (764.8 kg); equivalent to the weight of 120,000 plastic grocery bags

Two roads at Dow Texas Operations; collaboration with Martin Asphalt, American Materials, and Vernor

Midland County, Michigan, USA

136,390 ft2 (15,154 yds2 or 12,671  m2)

10,400 lbs (4717.4 kg); equivalent to the weight of 769,500 plastic grocery bags

Four county roads and two parking lots at Dow Headquarters; collaboration with Winpak, Central Asphalt and K-Tech Specialty Coatings

Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, Michigan, USA

60,000 ft2 (5,574 m2)

1600lbs (725.7kg): equivalent to the weight of 120,958 plastic grocery bags

Large SVSU event parking lot; collaboration with K-Tech Specialty Coatings and Pyramid Paving
Orange, Texas, USA 3,480 yd2 (2,909.7 m2) 1,830 lbs (830.1 kg); equivalent to the weight of 135,000 plastic grocery bags Two roads at Dow Sabine River Operations; 
collaboration with Martin Asphalt and Gulf Coast
Holland, Michigan, USA

151,039.17 yd2  (414,330.642 m2)

 

12,478 lbs (5,659 kg); equivalent to the weight of 944,169 single-use bags Three-phase paving at Midwest grocery store chain Meijer and gas station parking lots with PADNOS, K-Tech Specialty Coatings and Rieth-Riley
University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, USA Three .5 mile field test sections 24,000 lbs (11,000kg); equivalent to the weight of 1,850,000 single use bags Three field test sections using different PCR levels in the dry process and ELVALOY™ RET as polymer modifiers. Collaboration project with University of Missouri and State DOT. 
National Center for Asphalt Technology, Auburn, Alabama, USA 200 ft test section 1000 lbs Additive Group study funded by the Federal Highway Administration and five state DOTs

(1) The data presented here is for illustrative purposes only and should not be construed as specifications.

Project

Surface(s) paved

waste plastic diverted

Additional comments

Bulgaria

~ 0.62 miles (1 km)

4,409 lbs. (2,000 kg)

Municipal road

(1) The data presented here is for illustrative purposes only and should not be construed as specifications.

Project

Surface(s) paved

waste plastic diverted

Additional comments

India (two cities) 40.4 miles
(65 km)
286,601 lbs (130,000 kg) Collaboration with KK Plastic Waste Management, Rudra Environmental Solutions, and local governments in the cities of Bangalore and Pune

Indonesia (several cities)

1.24 miles (2 km)

6,614 lbs. (3,000 kg)

Collaboration with INAPLAS and ADUPI (Plastic Waste Management Association)

Manila, Philippines

16,145 ft2 (1,500 m2)

1,984 lbs (900 kg); equivalent to >180,000 sachets and plastic bags

Collaboration with San Miguel

Thailand

~53,819.6 ft2 (5,000 m2)

 

 

6,614 lbs. (3,000 kg)

Seven parking lots and one road; collaborations with Siam Cement, Amata Industrial Estate, SC Asset, and CP All

Haiphong, Vietnam 0.87 miles
(1.4 km) 
14,330 lbs (6,500 kg); equivalent to 1.7 million flexible wrappers Collaborations with Deep C and Vietnam Maritime University

(1) The data presented here is for illustrative purposes only and should not be construed as specifications.

Uriangato, Mexico Project

Dow participated in the first RPMA project in Latin America – helping pave 2.1 km (1.3 miles) of an official highway in the Uriangato district of Mexico.

Project

Surface(s) paved

waste plastic diverted

Additional comments

Uriangato, Mexico

2.49 miles (4 km) of road

4,409 lbs. (2,000 kg)

Collaboration with Surfax and Constructora Vise

(1) The data presented here is for illustrative purposes only and should not be construed as specifications.

 

Contact us to learn more about RPMA.